Almost 150 sites around Ireland have achieved blue flag (88) and green coast (62) status for 2019. Five sites received both awards.

The Blue Flag is an international award presented to beaches and marinas that have excellent water quality and achieve high standards in environmental education and management, safety.

The award is operated in Ireland by An Taisce with the support of the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.

Blue Flag is a “globally recognised symbol” of excellent water quality, remarked Minister Eoghan Murphy.

Green Coast awards recognise sites that have excellent water quality but are less developed and less populated than Blug Flag beaches. Green Coast awards involve volunteer group of which there are more than 800 nationwide.

The number of sites is the highest since the awards began in 2003 and reflects the “outstanding efforts” of citizen and community groups, along with An Taisce and local authorities, Minister Murphy added.