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Leisure & Amenities: Beaches and Green Coasts

Mayo's Beaches

Below is a map of Mayo's Beaches, 12 of which are Blue Flag certified.

A map highlighting 14 of Mayo's beaches. Use links below to learn more.

Clare Island Elly Bay Ross Mullaghroe Golden Strand Mulranny Dooega Betra Old Head Doogort Keel Carrowmore

Blue Flag Beaches in County Mayo for 2013

The 26th year of the Blue Flag Awards and the 10th anniversary of the Green Coast Awards took place on 23rd May 2013 in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Hall with the Minister for the Environment, Community & Local Government, Mr. Phil Hogan, TD presenting the awards.

Of the 74 Blue Flags and 45 Green Coasts awarded, Mayo has received 12 Blue Flags for the following beaches:

Elly Bay          Mullaghroe                 Golden Strand            Clare Island

Dugort            Mulranny                    Keel                            Carrowmore

Bertra             Dooega                       Keem                          Ross

with the 7 Green Coasts awarded to:

 White Strand               Carrowniskey         Cross, Belmullet

Termon                       Srah                              Portacloy             Cross, Louisburgh         

Blue Flag Background

The Blue Flag scheme for beaches has been one of the main drivers for better quality bathing waters over the last 25 years because it provides an instantly recognisable badge of high status for beaches. The campaign which flies in 46 countries worldwide aims to raise awareness and promote good environmental behaviour among visitors to the beaches and best practice among beach and marina management and staff.

The criteria required to attain Blue Flag status are designed to work with the legislation in each country. This ensures that the legislation is being followed, or in some cases, the Blue Flag sets a higher benchmark than that which already exists.  The Blue Flag inIrelandis administered by An Taisce on behalf of the Foundation for Environmental Education (F.E.E.).

An application for each beach must be made every year by the authority managing the beach. An international jury then decides if the beach merits the award which is decided upon by meeting the following criteria:-

(a) Water Quality

(b) Environmental Information and education

(c) Safety and Services

(d) Environmental management

(a)  Water Quality

Water sampling for this season commenced on 27th May 2013. Sampling will continue each week over the bathing season which runs from the beginning of June to the end August. The results are publicised each week on the notice boards situated at each beach.  Further information on bathing water quality in County Mayo is available at

 (b)  Environmental Education & Information

  • A brochure with information on our Blue Flag and Green Coast Award Beaches is distributed
  • A clean coast photography competition is organised annually.
  • The Council’s website and library display is a good starting point to find out more about our beaches.
  • Designated cycle loops taking in Achill beaches with a National Loop Walk in Mulranny and ClareIsland.
  • The notice boards on each beach are updated weekly during the bathing season.
  • Awareness promoted through radio slots.

 (c)  Safety & Services

  • Lifeguards will be on duty during July and August and during weekends outside of this period.
  • Lifebuoys are inspected on a regular basis by lifeguards on duty.

 (d)  Environmental Management & Facilities

  • Our beaches are governed by beach bye-laws that came into effect in 2008.
  • Permits must be sought from the Council prior to selling/offering tuition on beaches
  • Toilet, recycling and poop scoop facilities are available at all Blue Flag beaches with arrangements for litter control in place at all beaches.

Green Coast Background

The Green Coast Award which is a relatively new national beach award acknowledges beaches which meet EC bathing water quality standards, but which are also prized for their natural, unspoiled environment. A "natural, unspoilt environment" means that the special character of such a beach may not be compatible with the level of infrastructure and intensive management generally associated with more urban, traditional seaside resort beaches. Green Coast Award beaches demonstrate clean water and sound environmental management

The Award is objective-led, which encourages 'best practice' in management of rural beaches and emphasises community involvement in their management.

Clean Coasts is a coastal environmental programme where voluntary ‘Coastcare groups’ organise coastal clean ups, eliminate ‘eyesores’, improve facilities, report incidents and tackle environmental problems both small and large. These groups along with this Council manage stretches of Co. Mayo coastline very efficiently.

Green Coast Beach Locations for walking trails is at Portacloy called Carrowteigue Loop Walks


The Green Coast Award, rolled out in 2008 is designed to complement the Blue Flag programme.  Clean Coasts is a coastal environmental programme, where voluntary 'Coastcare groups' organise coastal clean ups, eliminate 'eyesores' and report incidents.


Mayo's Beaches:

Beach Bye Laws (Document)

Beach Bye Laws for Mayo
Formats Available:

Mayo Beaches

Environment Section
Second Floor
Mayo County Council
The Mall
Co Mayo
Phone: (094) 9047440
Open: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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