2023 Blue Flag & Green Coast Awards Recognise Ireland’s Best Beaches & Marinas
A Record-breaking of 159 Awards awarded for the 2023 season. Today, An Taisce has announced the recipients of the International Blue Flag and the National Green Coast Awards for 2023. A total of 159 awards, an increase of two awards compared to 2022.
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 10 marinas in Ireland received the Blue Flag, while 65 beaches were awarded the Green Coast Award.
In the 36th edition of the award in Ireland, 84 beaches and 10 marinas were awarded the prestigious Blue Flag this year. Talking about the event, Ms. Cathy Baxter, Director of the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce, said: “We were delighted to have been present on the beautiful sandy beach of Donabate, as we gathered to celebrate another remarkable year of recognition for all the sites that have been honoured with the Blue Flag and Green Coast Awards for the 2023 season. It takes immense dedication and effort to manage a beach or marina to meet the rigorous standards set by these prestigious award programmes, and we extend our warmest congratulations to all the deserving sites that have achieved this remarkable reward.”
For 2023, 81 of the 85 beaches and all 10 marinas awarded last year have retained Blue Flag status for the season 2023. Three additional sites from Mayo are included this year, Bertra, Clare Island (Louisburgh) and Old Head, which it was awarded for the first time since 2012.
The Green Coast Award has achieved a noteworthy milestone by granting 65 awards for the 2023 bathing season. This is an increase of 3 awards compared to last year, and the highest number of awards given since its establishment. These achievements coincide with the celebration of Clean Coasts’s 20-year anniversary.
The 3 extra sites awarded are Carrowniskey Beach, County Mayo, awarded for the last time in 2019, Bettystown in County Meath, awarded for the first time, and Rosslare Harbour Beach in County Wexford, last awarded in 2021.
- The Green Coast Awards were first presented back in 2003 to four beaches in County Wexford, it was rolled out nationally in 2008 and has gone from strength to strength ever since. An important aspect of the Green Coast Awards is the involvement of Clean Coasts groups, of which they are currently over 1,800 comprised of tens of thousands of volunteers nationwide. These volunteers participate in community clean-ups and in cooperation with Local Authorities help manage their local beaches throughout the year.
Summary Awards: 159 awards for 2023
- 159 awards announced for 151 sites today, 2 more than last year with 8 sites receiving both the Blue Flag and Green Coast Award.
- The county with the most awarded sites is Cork with 27: 10 Blue Flag beaches, 2 Blue Flag marinas and 15 Green Coast Awarded sites.
- The 8 sites receiving both the Blue Flag and Green Coast Award are Fountainstown and Inchydoney East Beach (County Cork), Balcarrick, Donabate (County Fingal), Salthill Beach and Silverstrand Beach (Galway City), Trá Inis Oírr (County Galway), Baile an Sceilg, Ballinskelligs (County Kerry) and Rosses Point Beach (County Sligo).
Blue Flag key notes: 84 Beaches and 10 marinas awarded the Blue Flag for 2023
- The Blue Flag Programme has been in operation since 1988 in Ireland, when 19 flags were awarded.
- 94 Blue Flags are being announced today, 84 beaches and 10 marinas.
- 3 beaches not awarded in 2022 have been awarded for the coming bathing season. These are: Bertra, Clare Island (Louisburgh), and Old Head, all in County Mayo.
- Bertra in Mayo, which last flew a Blue Flag in 2020 has been awarded for the 2023 bathing season.
- Clare Island, Louisburgh in Mayo regained its Blue Flag status after losing it in 2022 for not having achieved the “Excellent” classification for water quality.
- Old Head in County Mayo has been awarded a Blue Flag for the first time since 2012.
- All 10 marinas awarded in 2022 have retained Blue Flag status for the coming season.
- Kerry is the county with the most Blue Flags in 2023 with 15.
- The 4 beaches awarded in 2022 that have not been awarded for the 2023 season are: Cappagh Pier, Kilrush in County Clare, Garretstown in County Cork, and Counsellors’ Strand (Dunmore East) and Dunmore Strand (Dunmore East) in County Waterford.
Green Coast Award Key Notes: 65 beaches awarded the Blue Flag for 2023
- 2023 is the year of the 20th anniversary of Clean Coasts and the Green Coast Award, which started locally in Wexford in 2003 and became a national award in 2008.
- A new milestone has been reached as a record-breaking number of 65 beaches have been awarded for the 2023 season.
- 3 new sites were awarded this year, 2 of them regained the award lost in previous seasons. These sites are Carrowniskey Beach (County Mayo), Bettystown (County Meath) and Rosslare Harbour Beach (County Wexford).
- Carrowniskey Beach, County Mayo, awarded for the last time in 2019, has been awarded for the 2023 season.
- Bettystown in County Meath has been awarded a Green Coast Award for the first time this year.
- Rosslare Harbour Beach in County Wexford, regained the award after not being awarded in 2022.
- Cork is the county with the most Green Coast Award beaches again in 2023 with 15.
- Waterville in County Kerry and Portacloy in County Mayo, last awarded in 2022, haven’t been awarded due to not achieving the “Excellent” water quality status required.