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9 Clare beaches retain coveted Blue Flag

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*Fanore Beach has retained its Blue Flag.

Nine Clare beaches have retained their Blue Flag for 2020 while Kilrush Marina has been recognised for the first time in 15 years.

An Taisce have confirmed that for the sixth year in a row, nine beaches in the county have retained the coveted Blue Flag. The environmental eco-label is distributed to over 4000 beaches and marinas in 49 countries across Europe, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada and the Caribbean.

It represents high standards in water quality, environmental information and education, environmental management and safety, services and facilities.

Clare County Council has retained all nine of its blue flags. As a result, flags will be flying at Ballycuggeran, Cappa Pier, Fanore, Kilkee, Lahinch, Mountshannon, Spanish Point, White Strand Doonbeg and White Strand Miltown Malbay.

Last year, Ballyalla, Seafield and Bishops Quarter were honoured with Green Coast Awards, they have kept this distinction for 2020 but are also joined by Carrigaholt Beach which is managed by the local authority in co-operation with Carrigaholt Tidy Towns. Clean environment, excellent water quality and natural beauty are among the criteria for the coast awards which are aimed at beaches that may not have the necessary built infrastructure required to meet the criteria set for Blue Flag status.

Two Blue Flags have been distributed to Kilrush Maritime, one of which recognised Kilrush Marina. It is the first time since 2005 when it was under previous management that the Marina has received such acknowledgement.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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