Ten beaches in Mayo retained their blue flag status this year, it was announced by An Taisce this week. However, due to the severe storm damage inflicted on the county in the post Christmas storms, two beaches have lost their blue flag. Both Mulranny and Bertra, which are very popular beaches, lost their blue flag status because of the storm damage. The ten beaches in Mayo that retained their blue flags were Dooega, Carrowmore, Clare Island, Ross (Killala ), Golden Strand, Mullaghroe, Silverstrand (Dugort ), Keel, Elly Bay and Keem.
The Blue Flag is administered in Ireland by An Taisce on behalf of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE ). The Foundation for Environmental Education is an international organisation that has been promoting environmental education for sustainable development since 1981. FEE is an umbrella organisation with members in around 60 countries worldwide.
Nine beaches in Mayo were also awarded green coast status in the awards, two more than last year with Ballycastle and Silver Strand receiving the award for the first time. The nine Mayo beaches to get green coast status were Ballycastle, Carrowniskey, Cross (Belmullet ), Cross (Louisburgh ), Portacloy, Sliver Strand, Srah, Termon and Whitestrand. The green coast award recognises beaches for their clean environment, excellent water quality and natural beauty. These beaches may not have the necessary built infrastructure required to meet the criteria set for Blue Flag status, however they are exceptional places to visit. The awards were presented by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan, at an awards ceremony held on Skerries South Beach in north County Dublin.