AN TAISCE, that much-maligned watchdog, has awarded Blue Flag status to 85 beaches for the coming — apparently — summer.
This is a positive annual process as such an enviable endorsement can only be an advantage for a holiday destination community all too dependent on a short season for income and work. Any resort that fails the Blue Flag test is on the back foot and less attractive to visitors, especially flexible, choice-rich foreign visitors.
The venues denied the reassurance of a Blue Flag must, however, be a cause for concern, especially on an island that is sparsely populated. These failures because of unacceptable water quality are an indictment of our culture and ineffectual commitment to environmental protection. Local authorities that still spill pretty raw sewage into rivers, and there are far more than you might imagine, will say that they do not have the resources to modernise or expand plants.
That may well be the case and maybe those who so vehemently oppose water charges might suggest how this unacceptable situation might be resolved.
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