Fingal receives confirmation of Blue Flag and Green Coast Awards 2024

Beaches on the Fingal coastline have been named as Blue Flag and Green Coast Award recipients today, as An Taisce celebrated the quality and diversity of Ireland’s coastline.

Blue & Green Flags awarded for Donabate 2024

Beaches on the Fingal coastline have been named as Blue Flag and Green Coast Award recipients today, as An Taisce celebrated the quality and diversity of Ireland’s coastline.

The Blue Flag scheme, now in its 37th year in Ireland, is an esteemed international award assuring beachgoers that a beach meets high standards in water quality, facilities, safety, environmental education, and overall management. To earn a Blue Flag, Irish beaches must satisfy these rigorous standards.

Balcarrick Beach in Donabate, with its 3.4km stretch of sand, vibrant rockpools, and healthy sand dunes, has received both a Blue Flag and a Green Coast Award for the third consecutive year, making it one of the few locations in Ireland to achieve this distinction. Only 10 such beaches have been given double recognition.

Further south in Fingal, Velvet Strand in Portmarnock has once again been honoured with a Blue Flag, having first received one in 2014 and maintaining it ever since. Across Ireland there were 94 Blue Flag and 65 Green Coast award sites that have met the stringent criteria set by An Taisce.

Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Adrian Henchy said: “As someone who has grown up in the Donabate area, I’m exceptionally pleased to see Balcarrick Beach retain both a Blue Flag and a Green Coast Flag. This reflects our commitment to providing residents and visitors with access to Fingal’s beautiful coastal assets. These pristine locations are protected thanks to the collective efforts of the Council, local community groups, and sea lovers, allowing us to celebrate these wonderful destinations year-round.”

The Green Coast Awards highlight beaches with excellent water quality and management practices that protect the natural environment, emphasizing community involvement. These beaches must be managed by local authorities in cooperation with local clean coast groups.

Director for Operations at Fingal County Council, Mary T Daly said: “The Blue Flag and Green Coast recognition we received this year showcase our ongoing efforts to maintain all our natural assets along the 88km of Fingal coastline. Now, as we come into the busy summer months, we hope that everyone who visits a beach this year will play their part in helping to keep them beautiful by bringing their rubbish home or using the bins provided. Litter left on beaches poses a risk to the environment and wildlife and can have a negative impact on water quality.”

To retain Blue Flag status, local authorities must adhere to specific criteria, including prohibiting pets (other than assistance dogs) on Blue Flag beaches to maintain excellent water quality.

Presenting the 2024 awards, Minister Hildegarde Naughton TD said: “We all know just how lucky we are to have such beautiful water quality and natural beauty across our shores and this year’s recipients are testament to just how exceptional and rich in diversity that our beaches are. Congratulations to everyone involved and I want to wish a very happy and safe bathing and swimming season to everyone for 2024.”

As summer approaches, Fingal County Council reminds beachgoers to act responsibly by not leaving litter and ensuring dog owners clean up after their pets. Studies show that a single instance of dog poo can contaminate an area the size of a tennis court. The council’s animation helps show the impact not picking up can have:

The bathing season officially starts in June, with lifeguards deployed on all identified beaches from 11 am to 7 pm on weekends in June, and then daily throughout July and August. Lifeguards will also be on our blue flag beaches for the first two weekends in September.

For more information about Fingal’s beaches go to:

Blue Flag Raising Velvet Strand 2024