Consultation on Identification of Bathing Waters 2024

Fingal residents are being invited to have their say in the annual review of bathing waters in the County

Cúltír Donabate Beach

With an 88km coastline stretching from Howth to north of Balbriggan, three large protected estuaries and a large number of major beaches, our natural heritage has a strong conservation and amenity value.

Each year, local authorities must identify official bathing areas in their area every year so that they can be monitored for safety, water quality and their level of use. To help with this process, Fingal County Council would like to hear from people who swim at beaches, lakes and rivers to tell them if they think they should maintain existing bathing waters designations or give a new official bathing area designation to areas that are commonly used for swimming, but are not identified at the moment.

Under European and Irish law, Irish local authorities must identify bathing waters annually so that these areas can be monitored to ensure they meet stringent microbiological water quality standards. In some cases, the official bathing areas are also the areas where local authorities focus their resources providing lifeguards during the summer season. 

These laws also require that the local authority prepares detailed descriptions or profiles for each of the identified bathing water sites that describe not just the bathing area but also areas in the surface waters catchment area that could be a source of pollution. The profiles include an assessment the risk of pollution and what action would be taken if pollution occurs.

Fingal has no shortage of stunning swimming spots to enjoy, with current identified bathing areas as follows:

  • Claremont Beach, Howth
  • Burrow Beach, Sutton
  • Portmarnock Beach
  • Balcarrick Beach, Donabate
  • Brook Beach, Portrane
  • South Beach, Rush
  • North Beach, Rush
  • Loughshinny Beach
  • South Beach, Skerries
  • Balbriggan Beach

Please note that Malahide Beach, while not identified as a bathing area, is lifeguarded as required by a Water Safety Ireland Risk Assessment (Constant Red Flag).

If you are a regular swimmer and want to help decide which bathing areas should be identified for the 2024 season, it may be helpful to consider the following: 

  • How your swimming area has been used up to now?
  • How many people use the site?
  • What facilities (e.g. signage, parking, toilets, picnic area etc) exist at the site and how accessible it is? 
  • Any safety issues?

If you wish to propose your favourite beach/river etc as a new bathing water site, or would like to comment on an existing site,  please make your submission through the Consultation portal  or please post your written submission to: Operations Department (Bathing Waters), Fingal County Council, Grove Road, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.  

The bathing water quality results and annual classification of bathing waters can be viewed at The latest available EPA report Bathing Water in Ireland Report can be viewed here:

Closing date for submissions is Thursday, 28 September, 2023.