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A view of the destruction caused following the latest high seas and gales near the band stand in Kilkee. Photograph by John Kelly.

Clare’s Blue Flag beaches under threat

THE damage caused to coastal areas by the recent  storms may leave a question mark over the future status of Blue Flag and Green Coast Awards locations, it has emerged.

Clare’s Blue Flag beaches are Cappa, near Kilrush; Kilkee,  White Strand, Doonbeg; Fanore, in addition to Ballycuggeran and Mountshannon on Lough Derg.

A view of the destruction to the new railing and wall following the latest high seas and gales at the West End car park in Kilkee. Photograph by John Kelly.
A view of the destruction to the new railing and wall following the storm West End car park in Kilkee. Photograph by John Kelly.
A view of some of the destruction caused by the latest high seas and gales at Cappa, Kilrush. Photograph by John Kelly.
The destruction caused by the  high seas and gales at Cappa, Kilrush. Photograph by John Kelly.

The issue will be high on the agenda  will be discussed at the annual Blue Flag and Green Coast Award conference in Dublin, on Wednesday. The conference will be attended by coastal  local authority representatives, as well as Blue Flag and Green Coast Award jury members.

Annabel FitzGerald, coastal programmes manager, An Taisce said, “There are some serious concerns for some candidate Blue Flag and Green Coast Award beaches that have been left devastated by the recent storms particularly where infrastructure such as access roads, carparks and other amenities have been destroyed.”

These are among the 32 imperative criteria required to achieve Blue Flag status.

She added, “Local Authorities work tirelessly during the bathing season to ensure high standards at Ireland’s awarded beaches but there is also a considerable amount of work required in advance of the bathing season as local authorities must adhere to strict award application procedures.”

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