Best beaches in Fingal announced at National Blue Flag and Green Coast Awards

Balcarrick Beach in Donabate, where the 2023 flag ceremony took place, has great rock pools and a healthy bank of sand dunes to explore. This is the second year that the beach has been awarded both a Blue Flag and a Green Coast Flag, making it one of only eight locations in Ireland to get a double nod from An Taisce.

There were three Blue Flags and one Green Coast Flag retained across Fingal with Velvet Strand in Portmarnock and South Beach in Rush being honored alongside Balcarrick.

Mayor of Fingal County Council, Cllr Howard Mahony said: “We are proud to retain the Blue Flags and Green Flag awarded to us last year. This reflects our determination to give residents and visitors alike an opportunity to take in some of Fingal’s best assets.

“Along with the efforts of the council to protect these pristine locations, it is also thanks to local community groups and sea-lovers that we are able to celebrate these wonderful and relaxing destinations all year-round.”

The Blue Flag scheme, now in its 36th year, aims to provide an assurance to tourists that a beach has met a minimum standard. To collect a Blue Flag a beach must satisfy standards covering the highest quality in water, facilities, safety, environmental education and overall management.

Green Coast awards aim to recognize beaches that have excellent water quality and appropriate management to ensure the protection of the natural environment. They have particular emphasis on community involvement. All beaches must be managed by the local authority in cooperation with local clean coast groups.

Chief executive of Fingal County Council, AnnMarie Farrelly said: “The Blue Flags and Green Coast designation we have been awarded this year show that we are continuing to strive towards ensuring that we have some of the best beaches in the world for people to enjoy.

“It is a ringing endorsement of the quality experience and superb facilities that we provide.”

The National Blue Flag and Green Coast Awards event held at Donabate.

Housing and Local Government Minister Darragh O’Brien added: “This year celebrates the 20th anniversary of Clean Coasts and the Green Coast Awards and I am delighted to present a record-breaking 65 Green Coast Awards today.

“It also marks 36 years of the Blue Flag as an international program and I am pleased to present 94 Blue Flags for the 2023 season.

“During its 36 years, the Blue Flag has become an internationally recognized symbol of high standards in water quality, environmental management, environmental education and safety.

“Today’s high number of awards is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the local authorities, An Taisce, local coastal communities and other volunteers around the country.”

Fingal County Council wants to remind all beach goers to act responsibly by not leaving litter scattered around for someone else to clean up. It also wants to remind dog owners to ensure they only leave paw prints in the sand and to pick up after their pets.

With the bathing season officially starting in June, lifeguards will be deployed on all identified beaches from 11.00am to 7.00pm at weekends only for the month of June and then seven days a week for July and August.

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