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Alex Zarodov

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Blue Flags for Salthill and Silver Strand

Jun 5, 2014

Galway City Council is delighted to have been awarded Blue Flags for both Salthill and Silverstrand Beaches for the 2014 bathing season. The awards were presented by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Mr. Phil Hogan, T.D, at an awards ceremony held on Skerries South Beach in North County Dublin on Wednesday, 4th June.

Speaking at the awards ceremony Minister Hogan said, "I am pleased to say that a total of 134 beach and marina awards will be made today. This represents an increase of 15 on the 2013 awards and is testament to efforts of communities, local authorities and An Taisce and the sterling work they do. Results might even have been better except for the devastation of the storms last winter which caused significant damage in some areas."

The Blue Flag is one of the most widely known, most recognised and valued ecolabels throughout Europe and beyond, and is awarded to beaches and marinas with excellent environmental management.

To gain a Blue Flag, beaches have to meet specific strict criteria covering; water quality, beach/marina management, safety, services and facilities, environmental education and information. The Blue Flag for beaches is only valid during the official bathing season and for one season at a time.

The treatment plant at Mutton Island in Galway has led to major improvements in water quality in Galway Bay in recent years, highlighted by the award of a Blue Flag for Silverstrand in 2005, and Salthill in 2006 and the maintaining of the blue flag at both of these beaches in subsequent years.

Both Salthill and Silverstand beaches play major roles as leisure, recreation and coastal amenity areas for the city of Galway. The awarding of blue flags for both beaches is a wonderful achievement for the city, and a huge asset for its residents and our many visitors.