Mayo beaches were recognised for their exceptional quality as the county retained the blue flags awarded for 12 beaches in 2017.
The 12 beaches to achieve top status were Carrowmore, Clare Island, Dooega, Elly Bay, Golden Strand, Keel, Keem, Mullaghroe, Mulranny, Silverstrand (Dugort ), and Ross (Killala ).
The Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognised eco-labels. The Blue Flag originated in France in 1985 when French coastal local authorities were awarded with the Blue Flag for compliance with sewage treatment and bathing water quality criteria. It was launched as an international programme as part of the European Year of the Environment in 1987.
Mayo also received six Green Coast awards for Cross (Belmullet ), Portacloy, Silver Strand, Srah, Termon and Tranaun on Inishturk — which achieved the Green Coast award for the first time this year.
The Green Coast Awards were rolled out nationally in 2008 and have gone from strength to strength ever since. The award recognises beaches for their clean environment, excellent water quality, and natural beauty.