Sligo County Council is delighted to announce that five beaches in County Sligo have today received prestigious quality awards at a national ceremony in Dublin. Visitors to these beaches can expect to experience a pristine environment and excellent water quality during the 2012 bathing season. The Blue Flag and Green Coast season for beaches in Ireland coincides with the annual bathing season which runs from the beginning of June to mid September.
Two beaches were awarded the Blue Flag on the basis of compliance with 27 conditions, ranging from excellent water quality to environmental management, and environmental education. This is the 25th year of the Blue Flag programme operating withinIreland. The beaches awarded the Blue Flag for the 2012 season are Enniscrone and Rosses Point each retaining the Blue Flag status they received in 2011.
Five beaches received the Green Coast Award. This award applies to beaches which also have excellent water quality but may be less developed or be in a more rural location. The full range of Blue Flag-type facilities might not be appropriate at these beaches. Under this programme, there is an emphasis on community involvement. The Green Coast is operating throughout Ireland since 2008 and was designed to complement the Blue Flag programme. It is due to the combined efforts of community groups and this local authority that the County was presented with five Green Coast Awards in 2012. These 'Green Coast Award' beaches are Streedagh, Dunmoran, Mullaghmore, Enniscrone and Rosses Point
The Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council Councillor Michael Fleming welcomed the awards, and commended the community volunteers who worked so hard to earn the ‘Green Coast’ awards. ‘This is great news for Sligo, and it confirms our reputation as a county with high quality amenities, outstanding scenery and beautiful, accessible beaches. I expect this announcement will have very positive implications for our tourism agencies, and our local ‘Coast Care’ Groups in particular can take great pride in their efforts.’
It is unfortunate that due to on-going issues with cattle accessing the beach at Mullaghmore, the Blue Flag could not be awarded to Mullaghmore again this season. This situation has resulted in the withdrawal of lifeguard services from the beach for health and safety reasons and hence the flag could not be awarded. Sligo County Council have actively sought a resolution to this problem over recent years. However, as the land bordering the beach is private land, the resolution of the issues is dependent on land and cattle owners.
Sligo County Council would like to highlight that the quality of bathing waters in County Sligo remains very high. An intensive bathing water monitoring programme has commenced for the 2012 bathing season. Water quality at Enniscrone, Mullaghmore, Rosses Point, Streedagh and Dunmoran beaches will be monitored at least fortnightly during the 2012 bathing season, and results of this monitoring will be displayed locally at each beach, and on the Council’s website Bathing Water results.
Sligo County Council will continue to work with the local communities towards achieving the highest environmental standards at all our beaches during the 2012 bathing season.
8th June 2012