Continuing water quality issues threaten tourism, public health and the environment

16th May 2018

The Green Party said today that continuing water quality issues at popular bathing spots threatens tourism, public health and the environment. The party called for more urgency from Government in addressing water quality issues, following the publication of the EPA’s latest Bathing Water Quality report.
Seven locations in Ireland failed to meet minimum EU water quality standards, leaving bathers at risk of illness.
Speaking today, Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan TD said: “While we welcome the fact that the vast majority of Ireland’s bathing waters meet the minimum standards set by the EU, the progress in addressing poor water quality at other locations remains worryingly slow.
“Five locations in Dublin failed to meet minimum standards, Portrane, Rush South, Loughshinny, Merrion Strand, and Sandymount Strand, while  five other north Dublin beaches. This is worse than last year’s report, which is hugely concerning.
“Two locations in Galway also fell short in Ballyloughane and Clifden.
“These failures threaten public health, tourism and the environment. Bathers are at risk of skin irritation and illness if exposed to pollution in these areas."
Green Party Councillor for Howth/Malahide, David Healy, said: “Tourism is a huge driver of the economy in coastal areas, and must be protected. The Government must show greater urgency in tackling the problem of water quality. We have consistently sought a timeline from the Government to address these failures – they must step up to the mark to protect our coastal communities.
"Fáilte Ireland is promoting Dublin's wonderful natural environment, especially our coasts and beaches, in its Dublin A Breath of Fresh Air campaign. Unfortunately, Irish Water is still discharging raw sewage into Dublin Bay (at Doldrum Bay in Howth) on a daily basis. Sewers across the city overflow onto rivers, streams and beaches when there is heavy rain. The European Commission is taking Ireland to court for failing to invest in cleaning up our sewage and this EPA report will be further evidence in that case.”
Further info:
The full EPA report can be found here.
Fáilte Ireland promotion can be found here.