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All Ten Irish Marinas Retain Blue Flag Status for 2022

20th May 2022
Along with nine other marinas, Kinsale Yacht Club Marina in West Cork has retained its blue flag status for 2022
Along with nine other marinas, Kinsale Yacht Club Marina in West Cork has retained its Blue Flag status for 2022 Credit: Bob Bateman

All ten Irish marinas awarded in 2021 have retained Blue Flag status for the coming season.

85 Beaches and 10 marinas were awarded the Blue Flag for 2022 by Malcolm Noonan TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Heritage and Electoral Reform at a ceremony at Curracloe Beach in County Wexford this afternoon.

79 of the 83 beaches awarded in 2021 retained Blue Flag Status for the 2022 bathing season.

Download the details below as PDF files

Blue Flag Marinas Awarded for 2022

  • County Name
  • Cork    Kinsale Yacht Club
  • Cork    The Royal Cork Yacht Club Marina
  • Clare    Kilrush Marina
  • Donegal    Greencastle Marina
  • Donegal    Rathmullan Marina
  • Kerry    Fenit Marina
  • Kerry    Portmagee Seasonal Pontoon
  • Westmeath    Quigley's Marina, Killinure Point
  • Wexford    Kilmore Quay Marina
  • Wexford    New Ross Marina

The Royal Cork Yacht Club Marina in Cork HarbourBlue Flag status - The Royal Cork Yacht Club Marina in Cork Harbour Photo: Bob Bateman

Five beaches awarded in 2021 that have not been awarded for the 2022 season are: Bray South Promenade in Wicklow; Warren, Cregane Strand in Cork; Traught, Kinvara in County Galway; Carrowmore and Clare Island in County Mayo. None of these beaches achieved the “Excellent” water quality classification necessary to be awarded the Blue Flag. Each of the sites received a classification of “Good”, the second highest classification available based on an analysis of bathing water samples over the past four bathing seasons.

Speaking at the awards ceremony Minister Noonan stated that: "This year celebrates 35 years of the Blue Flag as an international programme and during that time the Blue Flag has become an internationally recognised symbol of high standards in water quality, environmental management, environmental education and safety. I am pleased to be presenting 95 blue flags and 62 green coast awards today and want to commend the great efforts made by local authorities, An Taisce, coastal communities and volunteers for their work around the country.

Mr. Ian Diamond, Coastal Awards Manager for An Taisce in announcing this year’s Blue Flag and Green Coast Award recipients stated:

"We were delighted to be welcomed to the Sunny Southeast today for the opportunity to celebrate the beaches and marinas awarded for the 2022 season. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to manage a beach or marina to the excellent standards required by these award programmes. It’s been too long since we’ve had the opportunity to acknowledge these efforts in person, and I would like to thank all in attendance and our hosts Wexford County Council for helping us make today’s event worth the wait”. 

Blue Flag

The Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognised eco-labels. Originating in Frnace in 1985 it was launched as an International programme as part of the "European Year of the Environment in 1987. In 1988, the first year sites were awarded outside of France 19 beaches and 2 marinas received the Blue Flag in Ireland. 2022 is the 35th year that beaches and marinas have been awarded here in Ireland and the 95 beaches and marinas being awarded is the highest annual total to date.

The programme aims to raise environmental awareness and promote sound environmental management of beaches, marinas and eco-tourism boats around the world. The 85 Irish beaches and 10 marinas that have achieved this accolade must adhere to specific criteria related to water quality, information provision, environmental education, safety and site management.

Award highlights 

  • The number of sites receiving the award is up 2 on last year’s total.
  • 7 beaches not awarded in 2021 have been awarded for the coming bathing season. These are: Trá Inis Oírr (Main Beach) in County Galway; Fountainstown and Youghal Front Strand in County Cork; Balcarrick, Donabate and Rush, South Beach in Fingal; Ballybunnion North Beach in Kerry and Ballymoney North Beach, in County Wexford.
  • Trá Inis Oírr, the main beach on Inis Oirr in County Galway has been awarded a Blue Flag for the first time this year.
  • In Cork, Fountainstown has been awarded for the first time since 1991 and the second time since Blue Flags were first awarded in Ireland.
  • Youghal Front Strand in Cork will fly the Blue Flag for the first time since 2011.
  • Balcarrick, Donabate in Fingal has been awarded a Blue Flag for the first time since 2016.
  • Ballybunnion North Beach, which last flew a Blue Flag in 2019 has been awarded for the 2022 bathing season.
  • Ballymoney North Beach, in County Wexford regains Blue Flag status having not been awarded in 2021.
  • 79 of the 83 beaches awarded in 2021 retained Blue Flag Status for the 2022 bathing season.
  • The 5 beaches awarded in 2021 that have not been awarded for the 2022 season are: Bray South Promenade in Wicklow; Warren, Cregane Strand in Cork; Traught, Kinvara in County Galway; Carrowmore and Clare Island in County Mayo. None of these beaches achieved the “Excellent” water quality classification necessary to be awarded the Blue Flag. Each of the sites received a classification of “Good”, the second highest classification available based on analysis of bathing water samples over the past four bathing seasons.
  • All 10 marinas awarded in 2021 have retained Blue Flag status for the coming season.
Published in Irish Marinas
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