Cork County Council can confirm that seven beaches across Cork County have been awarded Blue Flag status, with a further fourteen beaches receiving the Green Coast Award, for the 2019 bathing season, by the International Blue Flag and Green Coast Award Juries of An Taisce.
The iconic Blue Flag confirms that beaches around the world adhere to stringent requirements, high standards and strict compliance in relation to water quality, safety and facilities. This year’s awardees from Cork are Barleycove, Garrylucas, Inchydoney, Owenahincha, Tragumna, Garretstown and Redbarn.
The National Green Coast Award is reserved for ‘exceptional places to visit’. It recognises community and environmental activity alongside natural beauty. Cork has also increased its number of green coast beaches from 13 to 14 this year.
Ardnahinch, Ballyrisode, Doneen Pier, Fountainstown, Galley Cove, Garnish, Inch Strand, Inchydoney East, Oysterhaven, Redbarn Strand, Ring, Rocky Bay, Sherkin Island’s Silver Strand have all retained their Green Coast Award’s and were joined by Cadogan’s Strand, Cork’s newest recipient. These beaches have demonstrated excellent water quality and an un-spoilt environment.
Joining these accomplishments, Cork County Council have fully funded 5 new lifeguard stations in Redbarn, Claycastle, Tragumna, The Warren and Barleycove beaches at a cost of €50,000 each, in recognition of the wide usage and importance of our beaches and the safety of their users. These lifeguard stations, produced by iForm and based on an RNLI design, are the first of their kind on Irish Beaches.
Further to this, the trial of Cork County Council’s Beach Wheelchair at The Warren Beach in Rosscarbery has concluded successfully and the beach wheelchair will be available for use from the beginning of June. The wheelchair is free of charge and can be booked by calling the Rosscarbery Pitch and Putt Club on 087 6602949.
Mayor of the County of Cork commended the developments, saying:
“Cork County Council is committed to maximising the level of infrastructure on our beaches for the benefit of local communities as an amenity, a tourism offering and as part of our natural heritage. I’m extremely proud of the work that has gone into providing the beach wheelchair and would like to thank all the members of the public who helped make the trial a success.
“The Council’s commitment to our quality beaches is recognised by our 7 Blue flag beaches and our 14 Green Coast Awards. I would especially like to thank the communities that made this possible. Both of these awards would not be achievable without the dedicated hard work and consideration of our coastal communities towards their environment.
“Building on our successes of last year, 2019 bathing season will see the inclusion of 5 new lifeguard huts across the coast to improve safety and the ability of Cork County Council’s brave Lifesavers to respond to incidents.
“All of these achievements are the platform for our future success. With 19% Irelands Coast in our County, developing beaches is vital to our future.”