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All nine Blue Flag beaches in Clare have retained their status for 2021.

On Tuesday, the International Blue Flag and Green Coast Award recipients for 2021 were announced by the Education Unit of An Taisce at a virtual ceremony. The number of Blue Flags awarded this season set a new record for the Republic of Ireland with 93 sites awarded.

In Clare, Ballycuggeran, Cappa Pier, Fanore, Kilkee, Lahinch, Mountshannon, Spanish Point, White Strand Doonbeg andWhite Strand Miltown Malbay retained their Blue Flag status.

Seafield, Bishops Quarter, Ballyalla Lake and Carrigaholt Beach have retained Green Coast Awards for the coming season.

Deemed to be one of the world’s most recognised eco-labels, the Blue Flag originated in France in 1985 when French coastal Local Authorities were awarded with the Blue Flag for compliance with sewage treatment and bathing water quality criteria. It was launched as an International programme as part of the “European Year of the Environment in 1987.

Beaches and marinas awarded the Blue Flag are selected for adhering to specific criteria related to water quality, information provision, environmental education, safety and site management. 79 of the 81 beaches and all 10 marinas awarded last year have retained Blue Flag status for 2021. 4 additional beaches have obtained Blue Flag status for the 2021 bathing season.

Green Coast Award status has been retained by all 61 of the beaches who received the award last year. There are 2 first time recipients of the Green Coast Award in 2021: Rush South Beach in Dublin and Gurteen Bay in County Galway.

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