2017 has seen Ireland have 88 International Blue Flag and 61 National Green Coast Awards across Ireland’s beaches and marinas.

The number of sites receiving the award is up 3 on 2016, whilst 3 of the beaches awarded in 2016 did not retain Blue Flag status: Lisfannon in Donegal, Killiney in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Balcarrick, and Donabate in Fingal.

Below we list the 81 Blue Flag beaches, just click on a title to go to our beach information pages with interactive maps.

Ireland Blue Flag Awards

Clare Blue Flags

Ballycuggeran (Lough Derg)
Kilkee
Whitestrand, Doonbeg
Mountshannon (Lough Derg)
Cappa
Fanore
Lahinch
Spanish Point
Whitestrand, Miltown Malbay

Cork Blue Flags

Garrylucas
Garretstown
Inchydoney
Owenahincha
Barleycove
Tragumna
Redbarn

Donegal Blue Flags

Bundoran
Culdaff
Fintra
Downings
Killahoey
Marblehill
Murvagh
Naran
Magherawarden
Shroove
Rossnowlagh
Carrickfinn

Dublin Blue Flags

Portmarnock
SeaPoint

Galway Blue Flags

Traught
Cill Mhuirbhigh
Loughrea Lake
Tra an Doilin (Coral Strand)
Tra Mhor, Indreabhan
Salthill
Silverstrand
Portumna

Kerry Blue Flags

Ballinskelligs
Ballybunion North
Ballybunion South
Ballyheigue
Banna
Derrynane
Fenit
Inch
Kells
Maherabeg
Ventry
White Strand
Rossbeigh

Louth Blue Flags

Port
Templetown
Clogherhead

Mayo Blue Flags

Dooega
Carrowmore
Clare Island
Mulranny
Golden Strand
Mullaghroe
Silverstrand, Dugort
Keel
Elly Bay
Keem
Bertra
Ross

Sligo Blue Flags

Rosses Point

Waterford Blue Flags

Clonea
Councellors Stand
Dunmore Strand
Tramore

Wexford Blue Flags

Curracloe
Courtown
Morriscastle
Rosslare Strand
Ballinesker
Ballymoney North Beach

Wicklow Blue Flags

Brittas Bay North
Brittas Bay South
Greystones South Beach
Bray South Promenade

Blue Flag is a mark of a quality beach

The Blue Flag beach award is widely recognised as an indication for a good quality beach and has moved on a lot since it started in France in 1985. Most people think a Blue Flag indicates a clean and safe water but although it does, it actually measures a beach against a lot more criteria:

  • Environmental Education and Information. This includes displaying details on the Blue Flag award along with details on the water quality, a beach map including locations of facilities.
  • Water Quality. This is about the water being safe to swim in and water samples are taken at regular points during the bathing season and the year gets an overall grade. Each of our beach pages gives a summary of the current water quality.
  • Environmental Management. This category is about managing the beach and keeping it clean along with facilities like toilets being available to the public.
  • Safety and Services. This is a big one for families with children as a beach should be patrolled by lifeguards. Other criteria include availability of drinking water and accessibility features.

Not having a Blue Flag does not mean a beach should be avoided as the tough criteria described above is only really suited to large seaside resorts and smaller villages and remote bays can’t offer the same level of management. This means they just don’t participate in the scheme and local countries have their own awards to recognise some of these other beaches.

The blue flag certification process is carried out every year by local quality organisations and for our beaches in the UK the annual results are announced at the end of May or beginning of June.

For more information and details of the assessment criteria visit the Blue Flag Award website.

For a full list of blue flag beaches see our list at: UK Blue Flag Beaches.

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