independent

Saturday 24 February 2018

The return of the flag!

Lifeguards Jack Dunne and Ian Bailey, town clerk David Forde, executive engineer Stephen Fox, town foreman Tom Bailey, district engineer Liam Bourke, and Bray Municipal District Cathaoirleach Cllr Stephen Matthews
Lifeguards Jack Dunne and Ian Bailey, town clerk David Forde, executive engineer Stephen Fox, town foreman Tom Bailey, district engineer Liam Bourke, and Bray Municipal District Cathaoirleach Cllr Stephen Matthews

Mary Fogarty

A Blue Flag is flying over Bray once again, for the first time in almost two decades. It has been 17 years since the beach in Bray has qualified for the prestigious accolade.

Last Thursday, the flag was raised, to the pride and delight of Bray's residents, officials, and elected representatives. The flag was awarded to beaches which fulfilled a strict set of criteria relating to water quality, facilities for visitors, beach management, environmental education and the provision of information, whilst also fulfilling the Green Coast Award requirement of community involvement in the management of the site.

The award was presented recently in Cork, with the flag flying a week later on the seafront. The Blue Flag award indicates that the bathing water is of a high quality and safe for swimming. It also means that the seafront is well managed, has good accessibility and offers a good range of facilities.

Cathaoirleach of Bray Municipal District, Steven Matthews, said that water quality tests had been consistently on-target for the past number of years so he asked the council to apply for the award. After Bray and Dun Laoghaire entered an agreement some years ago to utilise the Shanganagh waste water treatment plant and stop using the outfall at Bray Harbour there was a huge improvement in water quality. With the executive engineer, they assessed the area and looked at how they could improve any areas to meet the Blue Flag standards.

Ongoing improvements in the area include replacing the Victorian seat backs, and improving the public toilets. An extensive treatment and repainting of the railings is currently being carried out.

Cllr Matthews said that district members have agreed to consider how they can improve the public open space in the area north of the Barracuda building.

'Flying the Blue Flag over Bray beach is a signal to everyone who uses our seafront that it's clean, safe, well managed and meets stringent international standards for a high quality environment.'

Bray People

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