Blue Flag

/Blue Flag
Blue Flag2017-06-20T16:23:52+01:00
  • This year's Blue Flag is delivered to Bundoran Tourism Officer by Beckey-Finn Britton, An Taisce Coastal Programmes Development Officer for Donegal - Pic Conor Conlon CMP Productions

Main Beach Bundoran has held the Blue Flag every year since the inception of the award and is proud to have it flying above the lifeguard tower every summer season.

  • Blue Flags are awarded on the basis of:
    • Compliance with Blue Flag criteria relating to water quality, facilities for visitors, beach management including litter control, environmental education and the provision of information.
    • The application received for the award including all enclosures and required information such as bathing water profile, bathing water calendar, lifeguard timetable etc.
    • The results of in-season beach inspections which are carried out on 100% of all awarded beaches.
    • Recommendations of the National and International Blue Flag juries.


  • Since 2012, beaches applying for Blue Flag and Green Coast Awards are assessed based on the standards of the new EU Bathing Water Directive. This requires that the water quality of candidate beaches are assessed using a 95th percentile calculation over a 4 year period.
  • Only beaches that meet the excellent standard for both E. Coli and Intestinal Enterococci parameters are eligible for the award.

Blue Flag parameters

Embargoed until 12 noon Thursday 26th May 2016 No repro Fee 26-5-2016 **Coastal Awards Recognise Ireland’s Best Beaches and Marinas** Picture shows Caoimhe Culhane (5) celebrating An Taisce’s Blue Flag Awards 2016 at Seapoint,Co Dublin.Pic:Naoise Culhane-no fee 85 International Blue Flag and 56 National Green Coast Awards for Ireland Today, An Taisce announced the International Blue Flag Award and the National Green Coast Award recipients for the 2016 bathing season. A total of 141 awards were presented by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Mr. Simon Coveney, T.D, at an awards ceremony held on the Velvet Strand, Portmarnock in Fingal at 12 noon today. Speaking at the awards Minister Coveney noted that “In Ireland, we are particularly fortunate to have a varied and beautiful coastline with many pristine beaches that are open to the public to enjoy. However, we cannot rest on our laurels and must continue to make strident efforts to protect and improve our waters. This will ensure that we, and future generations, can continue to enjoy this wonderful resource.” Mr. Ian Diamond, Coastal Awards Manager at An Taisce’s Environmental Education Unit speaking at the awards said: “I would like on behalf of An Taisce to pay tribute to the Local Authorities and marina operators here today for all their efforts in ensuring that the sites being awarded for the 2016 bathing season have achieved the excellent standards required by the Blue Flag and Green Coast Awards”. The 79 Irish beaches and 6 marinas are awarded the prestigious Blue Flag Award for the 2016 bathing Season. The Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognised eco-labels. The programme aims to raise environmental awareness and promote sound environmental practices and behaviours among beach and marina users. The 79 Irish beaches and 6 marinas that achieved this accolade met a specific set of criteria related to water quality, information provision, environmental educ

Flying the 2016 Blue Flag

The Blue Flag programme in Ireland has been the driving force behind improvements in water quality for many years and as an award of excellence the Blue Flag implemented the stricter standards in Ireland in 2012. The microbiological standards of the 2006 EU Directive are almost twice as strict as the 1976 EU Directive band representing a lowering of the risk threshold for bathers to ca. 3% with the more stringent category of “Excellent” water quality being applied.


Criteria under which Blue Flag beaches are assessed (33 criteria):

  • Environmental Education and Information
  • Information about the Blue Flag must be displayed
  • Environmental education activities must be offered
  • Information about bathing water quality must be displayed
  • Information relating to local eco-systems and environmental phenomena must be displayed
  • A map of the beach indicating different facilities must be displayed
  • A code of conduct that reflects appropriate laws governing the use of the beach and surrounding areas must be displayed

2) Water Quality

  • The beach must fully comply with the water quality sampling and frequency requirements.
  • The beach must fully comply with the standards and requirements for water quality analysis.
  • No industrial, waste-water or sewage-related discharges should affect the beach area.
  • The beach must comply with the Blue Flag requirements for the microbiological parameter Escherichia coli (faecal coli bacteria) and intestinal enterococci (streptococci)
  • The beach must comply with the Blue Flag requirements for physical and chemical parameters.

3) Environmental Management

  • The local authority/beach operator should establish a beach management committee.
  • The local authority/beach operator must comply with all regulations affecting the location and operation of the beach.
  • The beach must be clean.
  • Algae vegetation or natural debris should be left on the beach.
  • Waste disposal bins/containers must be available at the beach in adequate numbers and they must be regularly maintained.
  • Facilities for the separation of recyclable waste materials should be available at the beach.
  • An adequate number of toilet or restroom facilities must be provided.
  • The toilet or restroom facilities must be kept clean.
  • The toilet or restroom facilities must have controlled sewage disposal.
  • There should be no unauthorised camping, driving or dumping of waste on the beach.
  • Access to the beach by dogs and other domestic animals must be strictly controlled.
  • All buildings and beach equipment must be properly maintained.
  • Coral reefs in the vicinity of the beach must be monitored.
  • A sustainable means of transportation should be promoted in the beach area.

4) Safety and Services

  • An adequate number of lifeguards and/or lifesaving equipment must be available at the beach.
  • First aid equipment must be available on the beach.
  • Emergency plans to cope with pollution risks must be in place.
  • There must be management of beach users and events to prevent conflicts and accidents.
  • There must be safety measures in place to protect beach users.
  • A supply of drinking water should be available at the beach.
  • At least one Blue Flag beach in each municipality must have wheelchair and accessibility features.
  • Wheelchair access and accessibility features must be in place for at least one Blue Flag beach in each municipality.

For more on the Blue Flag please see the Blue Flag Ireland website

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Translate »