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Leisure & Amenities: Beaches and Green Coasts

Mayo's Beaches

Below is a map of Mayo's Beaches, 11 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 2018

The 31st anniversary of the Blue Flag Awards which began in France in 1987 took place on 21st May 2018 at The Martello Hotel, Bray Co. Wicklow.  Mr Eoghan Murphy T.D., Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, presented the 2018 Blue Flag and Green Coast Awards at a ceremony   A total of 149 awards were presented for beaches and marinas at 144 sites around the country with 5 sites receiving both the Blue Flag and Green Coast Award.

Of the 83 Blue Flags and 59 Green Coasts awarded, Mayo has received 12 Blue Flags for the following beaches:

Elly Bay          Mullaghroe                 Golden Strand            Clare Island

Dugort            Keel                            Carrowmore                Dooega                     

Keem              Bertra                         Mulranny                     Ross

with the 7 Green Coasts awarded to:

Carrowniskey         Cross, Belmullet

Termon                  Srah                    Portacloy                   

Silver Strand,    Inisturk (first year)         

Blue Flag Background

The Blue Flag scheme for beaches has been one of the main drivers for better quality bathing waters over the last 31 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 22nd May 2018. Sampling will continue over the bathing season which runs from the beginning of June to the end August. The results are publicised  on the notice boards situated at each beach. 

 (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

  • Where lifeguards are provided, they are on duty from 12:00 hrs to 18:30 hrs each day during July and August and at weekends in June.
  • Ringbuoys and water safety equipment are inspected each day 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 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.


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.



Code of Conduct for this Beach (Document)

Formats Available:

Mayo's Beaches:

Beach Bye Laws (Document)

Beach Bye Laws for Mayo
Formats Available:

Blue Flag Beaches - Map of Ireland (Document)

Blue Flag Beaches for 2016 identified on Map
Formats Available:

Green Coast Beaches - Map of Ireland (Document)

Green Coast Beaches identified in 2016 - Map of Ireland
Formats Available:

Mayo Beaches

Environment Section
Second Floor
Mayo County Council
The Mall
Co Mayo
Phone: (094) 9024444
Open: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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