Donegal’s beaches have been given the green light by the Environmental Protection Agency, with everyone of those evaluated being given a ‘Good’ rating for exceeding EU standards.
The beaches include: Ballyheeran (Fanad), Bundoran, Carrickfinn, Culdaff, Downings, Drumatinny (Falcarragh), Fintra, Killahoey (Dunfanaghy), Lady’s Bay (Buncrana), Lisfannon, Marble Hill Murvagh, Narin (Portnoo), Port Arthur (Derrybeg), Portnablagh, Portsalon, Rathmullan, Rossnowlagh and Shroove.
Regular tests of water quality at these locations showed them to exceed EU Mandatory Standards, meet or exceed the stricter EU Guide Values and meet or exceed EU Faecal streptococci which are considered when awarding Blue Flag status.
Donegal Mayor Cora Harvey welcomed the news. “It’s a good news for Donegal and it’s a great vote of confidence for anyone going to our beaches, whether local residents or visiting tourists.
“I’m sure the staff in the Water and Environments section will be delighted to see their hard work having paid off with these great results. There has been a lot of investment and initiative in this area, so this is a good result for everyone.
“It’s something we can all take pride in. We can all look forward to enjoying our beautiful beaches yet again this summer without any worries.”
The 100% success rate is ahead of the national average which saw 97% of Irish bathing waters meet the EU’s Mandatory Standards (‘Sufficient’ rating or better). Nationally, 90% of beaches obtained Good status or better, an 8% increase on last year’s results.
Kirsty Nolan of the EPA said: “Water quality in Donegal is consistently of a high quality. Since 2004, all nineteen designated bathing areas in the county have achieved ‘Good’ status, which is quite an accomplishment and a great tribute to council. Only local authorites achieved ‘Good’ ratings at all of their beaches this year, which gives you some idea of how impressive Donegal’s track record is.”