First ever Blue Flag for Carne Beach
There were satisfied smiles all round when a crowd gathered at Carne Beach for the raising of the area's first ever Blue Flag which recognises a high quality of bathing water and key safety and environmental standards.
The honour of raising the flag was left to the Mayor of Wexford Cllr. Jim Moore who was joined at the ceremony by local residents, councillors and local authority officials including members of Wexford County Council's coastal team.
In order to qualify for the prestigious award, a beach must comply with a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety and access criteria while the bathing water must reach a standard in accordance with the 2006 EU Bathing Water Directive.
Blue Flags are universally accepted as the mark of excellence fo beaches and marinas around the world.
It's the first time since the awards scheme was established in 1988 that Carne was announced as the recipient of a Blue Flag by the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy.
The aim of the scheme is to ensure safety and access for beach users and to promote environmental education and sustainable tourism development.
Independent councillor Ger Carthy said he is delighted that Carne Beach, in the heartland of his constituency, has finally been awarded a Blue Flag.
'The award is down to the hard work, support and financial assistance of Wexford County Council's coastal team under senior engineer Gerry Forde and George Colfer', he said.The flag raising ceremony was followed by refreshments at Carne Holiday Park.
County Wexford received a total of nine Blue Flags this year for Ballineskar Beach, Carne, Courtown, Curracloe, Morris Castle, Rosslare, Ballymoney North Beach, Kilmore Quay Marina and New Ross Marina along with eight Green Coast awards.Director of Services John Carley congratulated everyone involved in maintaining the county's beaches to exacting standards and ensuring that they continue to attract large visitor number. He also praised the work of Coastcare Volunteer Groups who play an important role in achieving Green Coast status for local beaches.