Displaying items by tag: Blue Flag
#SURFING - The Irish Examiner reports on the "little economic miracle" that is Ballinspittle in Co Cork, a village that's "bucking the national economic trend" via its plethora of local businesses - and its close proximity to quality surf.
The village has "witnessed a inflict of Australians and South Africans" among others "in search of a surfing haunt", thanks to the nearby Blue Flag beaches at Garrettstown and Garrylucas.
John Hynes, who runs the surfing school GTown Surf, says Cork's coast is "one of the most consistent stretches in the south" that's "perfect for budding surfers. So, there's no excuse for not getting out there and enjoying the waves."
The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.
#BLUE FLAGS - Dollymount Strand has regained its Blue Flag status in this year's round of awards, which sees the largest ever number of Irish beaches and marinas recognised.
The beach on north Dublin's Bull Island - which recently hosted Ireland's top kitesurfers for the 'Battle For The Bay' - once again flies the Blue Flag after losing it last year.
Also among the Dublin beaches receiving the EU accolade this year are Donabate, its first award since 2007, and Skerries south, which had not held Blue Flag status since 1995.
The news follows just weeks after Northern Ireland celebrated its own record year with 11 resorts receiving the coveted prize.
As The Irish Times reports, Rush South and Malahide beach failed to make the cut, while in Cork, Claycastle Beach and the front strand at Yougal lost their flags.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.
It marks a record year for Northern Ireland's water quality standards as the EU's benchmarks grow increasingly strict, and represents a 100% increase over three years.
Ballyronan on Lough Neagh retains its Blue Flag status, while and Ballycastle Marina achieved the accolade for the first time, as the News Letter reports.
Other stretches retaining their status are Downhill, Benone, Portstewart, Tyrella, Whiterock and Portrush's East and West Strands.
Newcomers to the Blue Flag list are Cranfield West, Murlough and Crawfordsburn Country Park in Co Down, and Castlerock in Co Derry.
Meanwhile, seven beaches across Northern Ireland attained Seaside Awards for their high standards.
Environment Minister Alex Attwood said: “Today’s increase in Blue Flag and Seaside Awards is great news for Northern Ireland’s beach users and seaside towns as they know they can expect the best when they see a Blue Flag or a Seaside Award symbol."
The News Letter has more on the story HERE.
Dublin City Council is proposing a mammoth 9km sewage outfall pipe to help make Dublin Bay cleaner - at a cost of €220m.
Herald.ie reports that the 5m-wide pipe - longer than the Dublin Port Tunnel - would dump effluent from the Ringsend treatment plant far offshore, thereby avoiding pollution in the bay and sensitive areas such as Bull Island, which recently lost its EU Blue Flag status for Dollymount Strand.
Plans for the project, which DCC head of waste Pat Cronin described as the "greenest and most economic solution" will be open to public consultation in the near future, with a timetable for completion by 2015.
The pipeline and redeveloped treatment plant will be funded via the Department of the Environment's water services investment programme.
Ireland has ranked fifth in a new Europe-wide report on bathing water quality - but some beaches in Northern Ireland are falling short of strict EU standards.
MEP Jim Higgins welcomed the results of the annual Bathing Water Report for 2010, saying: "Ireland's scenic attributes are a primary reason for attracting tourists and it is essential that our coastal and inland bathing sites are also enticing."
Ireland has moved up five places from its overall rank of 10th in 2009, with 90.1% of all bathing water sites meeting the EU's Blue Flag guidelines for water quality at beaches and swimming spots.
However, the Daily Telegraph reports that a number of beaches in Northern Ireland and other parts of the UK were judged to be 'poor'.
Beaches at Newcastle and Ballyholme in the North are among 16 across the UK that did not pass the EU's strict checks for Blue Flags.
The 2010 report ranks Cyprus as the cleanest bathing spot in Europe, with 100% of sites passing EU insspection. It was closely followed by Croatia with 97.3%, Malta at 95.4% and Greece at 94.2%.