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12th May 2021

Four out of 148 Irish bathing waters identified as “poor”

Clara Kelly


89% were classified as good or excellent.

A new report by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified four out of 148 bathing waters across Ireland as “poor”.

The 2020 Bathing Water Quality report showed that bathing water across the country has continued to improve over the last year with 96% meeting or exceeding the minimum required standard.

A majority of bathing waters at 111 were classified as excellent in 2020, up from 107 in 2019. Meanwhile, the bathing water quality at four beaches was classified as poor, compared with five in 2019.

The four bathing waters that were classified as poor were Clifden Beach, Lilliput at Lough Ennell, Balbriggan’s Front Strand Beach and Cúas Crom.

Clifden Beach was classified as poor every year since 2016, meaning it will either be closed or declassified as a bathing water in 2021.

Urban wastewater was the most common source of pollution affecting bathing water.

Following the report, the EMA said that local authorities must prioritise measures to improve the poor bathing waters to at least sufficient levels.

They added that Irish Water needs improvements in the operation, management and maintenance of plants and networks which impact on bathing waters across the country.

They are also urging people to bring rubbish home and clean up after themselves, in order to reduce pollution.