Latest News

Galway City Hosts National Blue Flag and Green Coast Awards as it retains Blue Flag status


Galway City Hosts National Blue Flag and Green Coast Awards as it retains Blue Flag status

2024 Blue Flag and Green Coast Awards Recognise Ireland’s Best Beaches and Marinas

An Taisce announced the International Blue Flag and Green Coast Award recipients for 2024 today. For the 19th year running both Salthill and Silverstrand (Galway City) have maintained these world class standards due to the dedicated work of volunteers, City Council staff, and members of the public. This achievement reinforces Galway city as one which celebrates its rich coastal heritage and welcomes locals and visitors alike to enjoy it.

The awards were presented by Minister of State, Hildegarde Naughton TD, at a ceremony held in the Galway Bay Hotel overlooking Salthill Blue Flag beach this afternoon.

Mayor of the City of Galway, Cllr Eddie Hoare, who spoke at the awards said, “We are proud to host these awards and to showcase the beaches of Galway for the treasures that they are. It’s also great to get the recognition once more for all the hard work that has gone into retaining both our Blue Flag and Green Coast status for Salthill’s Ladies beach and Silverstrand.”

The Green Coast Award recognises beaches for their clean environment, excellent water quality and natural beauty. Green Coast Award sites are exceptional places to visit and enjoy our rich coastal heritage and diversity. An important aspect of the Green Coast Awards is the involvement of Clean Coasts groups which are comprised of thousands of volunteers throughout the island.

The Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognised environmental awards. Originating in France in 1985 it was launched as an International programme as part of the ‘European Year of the Environment’ in 1987. In 1988, the first year sites were awarded outside of France, 19 beaches and 2 marinas received the Blue Flag in Ireland. 2024 is the 37th year that beaches and marinas have been awarded here in Ireland, with 94 beaches and marinas being awarded for the 2024 season.

The programme aims to raise environmental awareness and promote sound environmental management of beaches, marinas and eco-tourism boats around the world. The 85 Irish beaches and 9 marinas that have achieved this accolade must adhere to specific criteria related to water quality, information provision, environmental education, safety and site management for the duration of the bathing season.

For further information on Clean Coasts Ireland or to become a clean coasts group visit: https://CleanCoasts.org/

Image: Mayor of the City of Galway, Cllr Eddie Hoare, raises the Blue Flag at Ladies Beach, Salthill, with Minister of State, Hildegarde Naughton TD and Cathy Baxter, Director, An Taisce Environmental Education Unit. Photo: Aengus McMahon