Record number of blue flags awarded to Irish beaches

A record number of blue flags have been awarded to beaches across the country.

90 of the flags - which indicate excellent water quality and safety - have been given out for 2018 by An Taisce.

83 of the flags were awarded to beaches while seven went to marinas.

Caoimhe Culhane, 7, marking An Taisce's announcement of the International Blue Flag and Green Coast award recipients for 2018 at Seapoint ,Co Dublin. Picture: Naoise Culhane

Beaches in Kerry have received the most blue flags with 14, followed by Donegal and Mayo.

In 2017, 88 beaches were awarded a Blue Flag.

The two new recipients are Ardmore beach in Waterford which was awarded its first Blue Flag since 1997, while Carne beach in Wexford was awarded a flag for the first time.

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy, presented the Blue Flag Awards at a ceremony in Bray this morning.

"Today’s high number of awards reflects the great efforts made by local authorities, An Taisce, local coastal communities and other volunteers on the ground," said the Minister.

"It also reflects well on the work being done more widely within catchments to improve water quality."

59 Green Coast Awards were also presented, given to beaches with excellent water quality but which may be less developed and less populated than Blue Flag beaches.

Breakdown of Blue Flags awarded:

Kerry - 14

Donegal - 13

Mayo - 12

Clare - 9

Cork - 9

Wexford - 9

Galway - 8

Waterford - 5

Wicklow - 4

Louth - 3

Dublin - 2

Sligo - 1

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