Cork County beaches have been awarded a total of 26 flags by An Taisce at the National Awards for 2022. In all, 11 Blue Flags and 15 Green Coast Flags were won by beaches that achieve consistently excellent water quality as well as meeting beach infrastructure standards.
Youghal Front Strand has regained a Blue Flag which it last held in 2011. The very popular Fountainstown Beach has also regained a coveted Blue Flag which it last held in 1991. Oysterhaven has regained its Green Coast Flag and Ballynamona (Shanagarry) joins the list of 15 beaches which have secured a Green Coast Flag. In addition, Kinsale Marina and Royal Cork Yacht Club Marina retained their Blue Flag status.
The full list of flags awarded for County Cork for 2022 is as follows;
Blue Flag: Barleycove, Garretstown, Garrylucas, Inchydoney East Beach, Inchydoney West Beach, Owenahincha, Tragumna, Fountainstown, Youghal Claycastle, Youghal Front Strand, Youghal Redbarn.
Green Coast: Ballyrisode, Cadogan’s Strand, Dooneen Pier, Fountainstown,
Galley Cove, Garnish Beach-Lehanmore, Inch Strand, Inchydoney East,
Red Strand, Ring, Rocky Bay, Shanagarry-Ardnahinch, Sherkin Island Silver Strand Beach, Oysterhaven and Ballynamona Beach (Shanagarry).
The Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Gillian Coughlan, in congratulating all involving said, “Cork County now boasts more flags than any other county in Ireland. The highest number of flags awarded to date for Cork beaches reflects the ongoing efforts of our local coastal community groups and Cork County Council working hand-in-hand. Now more than ever we are appreciating our beaches for their amenity value together with recognising the need to protect them. Visitors to our county’s beaches can play their part this summer, take a picnic with you but be sure to take your rubbish home to keep our beaches beautiful and safe for everyone.”
Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey highlighted how, “The Blue Flags and Green Coast designation are awarded based on adherence to strict criteria including water quality and safety, environmental management systems, beach infrastructure together with the provision of environmental information and education. Meeting such demanding criteria represents significant investment in time and resources by not only Cork County Council but also local community groups whose support is essential and greatly appreciated.”
Resources allocated by Cork County Council include the provision of parking, toilets, waste management, beach safety infrastructure, lifeguards and water quality sampling and testing.