Three beaches have been awarded with blue flag status for Ireland today – and all of them come from County Mayo.
A record number of beaches won the blue flag and green coast award for Ireland, with 159 beaches and marinas given the accolade by An Táisce, which is two more than last year.
Bertra, Clare Island and Old Head are the three new additions to the list.
The blue flag is awarded for “excellent” water quality.
Four beaches lost their blue flag status nationally – Cappagh Pier in Kilrush Co Clare, Garretstown in Cork, and Counsellor’s Strand and Dunmore Strand in Dunmore East County Waterford.
The three Mayo beaches join Mulranny, Dooega, Golden Strand, Silverstand Dugort, Keem, Keel, Mullaghroe, Elly Bay and Ross Killala on the county’s list, bringing the total tally of Mayo blue flag beaches to twelve.
In terms of the Green Coast Award, there are 65 recipients for the 2023 bathing season.
There are three new sites awarded which includes Carrowniskey Beach in County Mayo.
Portacloy was awarded in 2022, but like Waterville in Kerry, it did not receive a Green Coast Award after not achieving the “excellent” water quality status required.
Eight beaches across the country received both blue flag and Green Coast recognitions, including Salthill Beach, Silverstrand Beach and Trá Inis Óirr (all in County Galway), and Rosses Point Beach (Sligo).