There was good news for the seaside village of Downings with confirmation that its beach has received blue flag status for the first time since 1999.
Downings is one of thirteen Donegal beaches to have been awarded blue flag status after An Taisce announced the International 25th Anniversary Blue Flag Awards for 2012.
The awards were presented by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Mr. Phil Hogan, T.D and Mr. Jan Eriksen, President of FEE at an awards ceremony held in The Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links on Thursday.
The full list of blue flag beaches in Donegal is: Bundoran, Murvagh, Rossnowlagh, Naran, Carrickfinn, Killahoey, Marble Hill, Portsalon, Lisfannon, Culdaff, Stroove, Fintra and Downings. In Sligo, two beaches, Enniscrone and Rosses Point, have been awarded blue flags. Mullaghmore is not being awarded the Blue Flag as there is an ongoing issue with livestock roaming on the beach.
Meanwhile, Donegal has retained its seven Green Coast awards. These beaches include Dooey, Ballyhiernan, Drumnatinney, Ladies Bay, Magheraroarty, Port Aurthur, Rathmullan,
The Green Coast beaches in Sligo are Dunmoran Strand, Rosses Point, Streedagh, Enniscrone, and Mullaghmore.
Patricia Oliver, An Taisce, speaking at the awards said, “We are delighted in this, the 25th anniversary year of Blue Flag to announce a record 87 Irish Blue Flag sites.
“The continuing high standards of our beaches are testament to the hard work carried out by Local Authorities throughout the year to improve water quality and provide clean, safe beaches for everyone to enjoy.”