Blue Flag and Green Coast Awards Success for Kinsale Beaches
There was good news for Kinsale on June 7th, as An Taisce announced that two of the townâ€™s most popular beaches, Garrettstown and Garrylucas, have retained their Blue Flag status for 2012, at the International 25th Anniversary Blue Flag Awards.
The prestigious Blue Flag is one of the worldâ€™s most recognised eco-labels, and is universally recognised as the benchmark for beach quality. The two popular Kinsale beaches were among the 84 beaches and 3 marinas to have achieved this accolade, having met a specific set of criteria related to water quality, information provision, environmental education and beach management. 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.
Following the announcement of the awards, Hal McElroy, Chairman of Kinsale Chamber of Tourism said â€œWe are delighted in this, the 25th anniversary year of Blue Flag, to retain our Blue Flag status at both Garrettstown and Garrylucas, two of just four beaches awarded the accolade in South Cork. The continuing high standards of our beaches are testament to the hard work carried out by our local authorities and community throughout the year to improve water quality and provide clean, safe beaches for everyone to enjoy.â€
As well as celebrating their Blue Flag success, Kinsale Chamber of Tourism is delighted to announce that another local beach, Oysterhaven has been awarded a Green Coast Award. Green Coast Awards go to beaches for their clean environment, excellent water quality and good beach management, but which may not have the necessary built infrastructure required to meet the criteria set for Blue Flag status; however they are exceptional places to visit and enjoy our rich coastal heritage and diversity.
Commenting on Oysterhavenâ€™s win, Hal said â€œCommunity involvement through local Coastcare groups is a requirement for the Green Coast Award and we would like to commend the excellent work and commitment of our local community Coastcare groups in the management and care of our local coastline.â€
Both Garrylucas and Garrettstown are adjacent to Kilcolman Marsh and The Old Head of Kinsale just a few minutesâ€™ drive from the town of Kinsale; and lifeguards are on duty at the two at specific times during summer months, and details of days and times for these are available on beach noticeboards. Oysterhaven is the next bay located east of Kinsale harbour.
The International Blue Flag campaign is co-ordinated in Ireland by An Taisce with support from the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and on behalf of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). A map showing all the award winning beaches can be found at www.beachawards.ie.
The Green Coast award is funded by the Department of the Environment, Heritage & Local Government and is supported by Failte Ireland, Coca Cola and SECAD (South East Cork Area Development).
Pic: Cllr. Declan Hurley, Deputy Lord Mayor of Cork County; Margaret Crowley, Garrylucas beach; Dan Cummins, Garrettstown beach; Patricia Power, Director of Services, Cork County Council and Cllr. Fred Treacy, Mayor of Kinsale.