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

18th May 2017

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.
Six 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.
“Three locations in Dublin failed to meet minimum standards, Loughshinny, Merrion Strand, and Portrane, while three others remain at risk, in Balbriggan, Sandymount Strand, and Rush South Strand.
“Three locations in Galway also fell short in Ballyloughane, Clifden, and Trá na bhForbacha, with Trá na mBan classed as ‘at risk’.
“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 Senator Grace O’Sullivan 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. I raised this issue at the Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning, and Local Government, and will be seeking a timeline from Government on bringing these waters up to standard.”