NINE blue flags and four green coast awards have gone to Co Clare.
Blue flags are going to Ballycuggeran, Fanore, Kilkee, Lahinch, Lough Derg at Mountshannon, Spanish Point, White Strand Doonbeg and White Strand Miltown Malbay.
Cappagh Pier in Kilrush was awarded a blue flag in 2022 but it hasn’t had it renewed for the 2023 season. On the positive side for the town, the Kilrush Marina has received a blue flag.
Green coast awards have gone to Ballyalla Lake, Bishop’s Quarter, Carrigaholt Beach and Seafield.
Speaking at the awards ceremony Minister of State Darragh O’Brien said: “This year celebrates the 20th anniversary of Clean Coasts and the Green Coast Awards and I am delighted to present a record-breaking 65 Green Coast Awards today. It also marks 36 years of the Blue Flag as an international programme and I am pleased to present 94 Blue Flags for the 2023 season.
“During its 36 years, the Blue Flag has become an internationally recognised symbol of high standards in water quality, environmental management, environmental education and safety. Today’s high number of awards is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the local authorities, An Taisce, local coastal communities and other volunteers around the country.”
For the 2023 season, 159 awards were conferred, marking a notable milestone as two additional sites received the prestigious award this year. During the ceremony, 84 beaches and ten marinas in Ireland received the Blue Flag, while 65 beaches were awarded the Green Coast Award.
Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.