Donegal receives the most Blue Flags in the country.

Fort Dunree courtesy of Peter Blake
Fort Dunree courtesy of Peter Blake

Donegal County Council welcomes the recent announcement by An Taisce that 12 beaches and 2 marinas in the county are receiving Blue Flags.  As a result Donegal now tops the charts as the county with the most Blue Flags for 2020.  In addition 4 other beaches will also receive Green Coast awards.

These internationally recognised awards aim to raise environmental awareness and promote sound environmental management of beaches, marinas and inland bathing waters around the world.

Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr. Nicholas Crossan said, ’ We are delighted  with the announcement from An Taisce.  Donegal’s beaches and coastal amenities attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.  As we reopen society and business we look forward to welcoming visitors who wish to enjoy all that Donegal has to offer.’

In welcoming the announcement Chief Executive of Donegal County Council Seamus Neely said ‘I would like to acknowledge the role played by local communities and council staff in ensuring that Donegal secured these awards.  The international recognition that comes with the Blue Flag is extremely important for the County in terms of the role that these beaches play in the County’s economy.’

Beaches in Donegal which received Blue Flags are Bundoran, Rossnowlagh, Murvagh, Fintra, Portnoo/Narin, Carrickfinn, Killahoey, Marblehill, Downings, Portsalon, Culdaff, Stroove, in addition to marinas at Greencastle and Rathmullan.

Beaches at Dooey, Magheroarty, Drumatinney and Ballyheirnan have received Green Coast awards in 2020.

The Donegal coastline is linked to many stories of shipwrecks and those stories are currently being researched by the TIDE project in Donegal County Council.  One such story is that of the SS Laurentic a British ocean liner of the White Star Line. She was converted to an armed merchant cruiser at the onset of World War 1, and sank after striking two mines shortly after departing Buncrana pier, two miles off the coastline on the 25 January 1917, with the loss of 354 lives out of a crew of 475.  The ship was carrying about 43 tons of gold ingots at the time of her loss, and to date, 20 bars of gold are yet to be recovered.  There is a display of artifacts from the Laurentic at the Greencastle Museum and a memorial at Fort Dunree -

For more information on Maritime History – please visit -