Three Louth beaches have retained their Blue Flag status in this years judging.
Clogherhead, Port Lurganboy and Templetown beach secured blue flags while Seapoint Beach in Termonfeckin was awarded a Green Cost Award.
The awards were presented by Malcolm Noonan TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Heritage and Electoral Reform at a ceremony Curracloe Beach in County Wexford this afternoon.
Speaking at the awards ceremony Minister Noonan stated that:
"This year celebrates 35 years of the Blue Flag as an international programme and during that time the Blue Flag has become an internationally recognised symbol of high standards in water quality, environmental management, environmental education and safety.
"I am pleased to be presenting 95 blue flags and 62 green coast awards today and want to commend the great efforts made by local authorities, An Taisce, coastal communities and volunteers for their work around the country.”
Mr. Ian Diamond, Coastal Awards Manager for An Taisce in announcing this year’s Blue Flag and Green Coast Award recipients stated:
"We were delighted to be welcomed to the Sunny Southeast today for the opportunity to celebrate the beaches and marinas awarded for the 2022 season.
"It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to manage a beach or marina to the excellent standards required by these award programmes.
"It’s been too long since we’ve had the opportunity to acknowledge these efforts in person, and I would like to thank all in attendance and our hosts Wexford County Council for helping us make today’s event worth the wait."
The Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognised eco-labels.
Originating in France in 1985 it was launched as an International programme as part of the "European Year of the Environment in 1987.
In 1988, the first year sites were awarded outside of France 19 beaches and 2 marinas received the Blue Flag in Ireland.
2022 is the 35th year that beaches and marinas have been awarded here in Ireland and the 95 beaches and marinas being awarded is the highest annual total to date.
The programme aims to raise environmental awareness and promote sound environmental management of beaches, marinas and eco-tourism boats around the world. The 85 Irish beaches and 10 marinas that have achieved this accolade must adhere to specific criteria related to water quality, information provision, environmental education, safety and site management.
The Green Coast Award recognises beaches for their clean environment, excellent water quality and natural beauty.
The Green Coast Awards were presented back in 2003 to four beaches in County Wexford, it was rolled out nationally in 2008 and has gone from strength to strength ever since.
An important aspect of the Green Coast Awards is the involvement of Clean Coasts groups of which there are currently over 1800 comprised of tens of thousands of volunteers nationwide.
These volunteers participate in community clean-ups and in cooperation with Local Authorities help sensitively manage their local beaches throughout the year.
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