In his first official function as Mayor of Kerry, Cllr Pat Leahy launched Kerry’s Blue Flags in Maherabeg Beach on Monday, July 12th.
This year, Kerry received Blue Flags for 13 of the county’s beaches, the highest number of any county in Ireland. The winning beaches are located at: Baile an Sceilg (Ballinskelligs), Ballybunion North, Ballybunion South, Ballyheigue, Banna, Doire Fhionáin (Derrynane), Fenit, Inch, Kells, Maherabeg, Rossbeigh, Ceann Trá (Ventry), and White Strand Cahirciveen.
At the Official raising of the Blue Flag at Maherabeg Beach on Monday July 12th, The Mayor of Kerry, Cllr Pat Leahy said it was a particular honour to raise the Blue Flag over Maherabeg Beach, which had lost its Blue Flag in 2009, but regained it this year.
“Blue Flags are an indicator of the quality of our environment and it is encouraging that Kerry is continuing to set a high standard in what was a difficult year for water quality. Not only have we retained all our Flags from 2009, we have won back the Flag at Maherabeg.
“I would also appeal to all beach users to ensure they leave no litter on the beaches of Kerry or damage the wonderful coastal areas in any way.”
County Manager, Mr. Tom Curran said he was delighted that Kerry has maintained the necessary quality of environment at 13 beaches to ensure that our bathing waters and other facilities are amongst the best in the country.”
The Director of Services at the Environment Section Mr. Oliver Ring in welcoming the 13 Blue Flags said that “tourism is essential to the economy of Kerry, and maintaining a high quality environment is a priority, not just for visitors to the county, but for the residents of Kerry also.”
The Blue Flag Award is based on a number of different criteria including water quality, environmental education, environmental management and safety and services. As part of the award scheme, Beach Workshops for children will take place at each beach during July and August with Marine Biologist Ms. Lucy Hunt.
As Kerry is the premier tourist county in Ireland with some 2 million visitors per year, Kerry County Council has a responsibility to ensure that the beaches and infrastructure are presented to holidaymakers in the most attractive manner possible.
Kerry County Council invests tremendous efforts in formulating strategies to keep County Kerry at the top of the Blue Flag Programme, and will continue to invest the necessary resources to ensure the sustainable management of the magnificent beaches along the Kerry coast.