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Ireland has the dirtiest beaches in EU -- report

  • 11-06-2010 11:51am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 131 ✭✭ ForiegnNational


    Ireland has the dirtiest beaches in EU -- report

    By Paul Melia

    Friday June 11 2010

    IRISH beaches have the highest failure rate in the EU in terms of meeting minimum bathing-water quality standards.

    A European Commission report published yesterday said that Atlantic-coast beaches in Ireland were the dirtiest in the union, with 6.6pc failing to meet legally required standards.

    The report compared Ireland, Spain, Portugal, the UK and France, which are the only EU countries with beaches on the Atlantic coast. Spain had the lowest rate of pollution, with just 0.4pc of beaches failing to meet the standards.

    The report came after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week published a review of bathing-water quality in Ireland, which found that 122 from 131 (93pc) met minimum EU standards.

    Some 82pc also complied with higher standards, which are not mandatory.

    The EU information released yesterday is contained on a new interactive map, which covers 20,000 beaches in all 27 member states.

    Overall, the report said that while European beaches performed well, some could be improved.

    Just under 7pc of Ireland's beaches failed the minimum standard, compared to 2pc in Spain, 3pc in the UK and 4pc in France -- the top three EU destinations for Irish tourists.

    The cleanest beaches were in Greece, where 99.8pc met the ideal standard, followed by Cyprus (99.1pc) and France (95.7pc). Ireland's bathing places scored 82.4pc at ideal standards, with Spain at 84pc and UK at 79pc.

    Bathing-water quality can be checked at http://dataservice. eea.europa.eu/map/BathingWater/

    Blue flags

    Environment Minister John Gormley will announce on Monday which Irish beaches have secured blue flags for the summer. They are awarded on the basis of water quality and services provided.

    A spokesman said that while the quality of bathing water was generally high, "some areas of difficulty" were being addressed through a €500m annual spend on waste-water treatment plants and other infrastructure.

    The EPA report found that while bathing-water quality was high, nine beaches failed to meet the lower EU standard and were classified as being of poor quality.

    - Paul Melia

    Irish Independent

    I think that it is time that the EU eventually found the balls to start fining countries who continually flout legislation of all kinds (which would include France and Germany on budget deficit regulations) and if that means Ireland or any other polluting nation is continually fined until it cleans up it's act, fair enough, something must be done to stop the wholesale disposal of human faecal waste directly into the ocean.


Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 Judgement Day


    I think that it is time that the EU eventually found the balls to start fining countries who continually flout legislation of all kinds (which would include France and Germany on budget deficit regulations) and if that means Ireland or any other polluting nation is continually fined until it cleans up it's act, fair enough, something must be done to stop the wholesale disposal of human faecal waste directly into the ocean.

    Yes, but don't worry RTE's TV news report last night carried pictures of community volunteers picking litter off beaches - quite what this has to do with water quality is beyond me but it lets the local authorities off the hook. A council official said in these hard economic times that the support of local community groups was vital - but how will that help cut pollution by poor and non-existent sewage treatment schemes? Of course the incisive RTE reporter didn't ask the council official about that. :mad:


  • Registered Users Posts: 368 ✭✭ Empire o de Sun


    Dollymount (or Bull Island) is a disgrace, I don't know about the water quality in terms of sewage, but in terms of plastics and the like, it's terrible. I haven't been there for two months cos the last time I went it was a disaster.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,468 BluntGuy


    Yes, but don't worry RTE's TV news report last night carried pictures of community volunteers picking litter off beaches - quite what this has to do with water quality is beyond me but it lets the local authorities off the hook. A council official said in these hard economic times that the support of local community groups was vital - but how will that help cut pollution by poor and non-existent sewage treatment schemes? Of course the incisive RTE reporter didn't ask the council official about that. :mad:

    RTE News (and Frontline, Primetime etc.) don't exist to get answers. It's a disgrace to think their non-investigative, lazy reporting and boring, prescripted debates pass for journalism and analysis. But they apparently do. :(

    Every cent collected in whatever water charges they lump on us better go toward getting top-notch water treatment infrastructure installed.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,091 ✭✭✭ marmurr1916


    Aren't there two sets of criteria the EU operates, at least for Blue Flag beaches?

    One is for cleanliness of the beach (litter etc), services provided (toilets etc); one is for bathing water quality.

    Ireland scores on the latter will improve as new waste-water treatment plants start operating, it won't do so well on the former since a. Irish people litter a lot and b. a lot of our beaches aren't busy enough to warrant the local council providing much in the way of facilities.

    I prefer a beach not to have too many facilities (although the busier ones should at least have toilets), especially if its in a scenic location.


  • Registered Users Posts: 260 ✭✭ Poster King


    I go to a holiday home that is beside a beach that is virtually unused by the public (it has no road access) but it is still strewn with plastic rubbish which all washes in from the ocean. I believe this is more of a problem in Ireland than in Spain or the Med due to ocean currents.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,230 ✭✭✭ Solair


    Send a team of litter wardens down to the beach on a hot day with the fine book at the ready and you'll suddenly find a change of attitude.

    They'd pay for themselves in a half a day!


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