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Northside beaches are stripped of Blue Flags

FOUR Dublin beaches have lost their coveted Blue Flag status as they failed to meet water quality standards.

However, there was good news for beaches in South Dublin as Killiney and Seapoint were each awarded Blue Flags.

The capital now has just two Blue-Flag beaches in total, despite massive investment in a sewage treatment facility in Ringsend.

Stripped of Blue Flags status are Skerries South Beach, Donabate, the Brook Beach Portrane and the Velvet Strand Portmarnock.

Dollymount also lost its 2012 Blue Flag status as there was no application made on its behalf.

The three North County Dublin beaches also lost their Green Coast Awards because they failed to comply with stricter new EU water criteria.

Livestock

Ireland received a total of 74 Blue Flags for this summer – down 13 on last year's total.

Other beaches around the country that were stripped of their Blue Flag status included Ballybunion North beach, Co Kerry, White Strand Milltown Malbay and Lahinch, Co Clare, and Ceibh an Spideal in Galway.

Mullaghmore in Co Sligo could not be awarded the flag as there are ongoing issues with livestock roaming on the main beach area, "creating an unsafe environment for beach users".

Donegal got 13, the biggest number awarded to any county this year.

In relation to the Green Coast Awards, other beaches which failed to reach the standards included Mornington, Co Meath, Silverstrand, Co Mayo, and Ladies Bay, Co Donegal.

Arklow South beach in Wicklow lost its award due to insufficient water sample numbers.

The 70 beaches and four marinas that received flags met a specific set of criteria related to water quality, information provision, environmental education and beach management.

Last year, the Blue Flag criteria was based on the 1976 EU Bathing Water Directive.

From this year they are based on the 2006 EU Bathing Water Directive which is in line with the latest scientific information.

jlast@herald.ie


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