The Mayor of County Cork, Cllr Barbara Murray, went for a dip in her hometown of Youghal, yesterday (Thursday 23rd August 2012). The mayor said she wanted to show people it was now safe to bathe at the town’s Front Strand.
Pictured below are Cllr Barbara Murray, Mayor of County Cork, with Julie Buckley, Youghal, enjoying Youghal’s Front Strand as the results of the e-coli tests on Youghal beaches look promising. Youghal Front Strand came in at 448, Claycastle 465 and Red Barn 142, which are all classed as sufficient quality. Cllr. Barbara Murray, Mayor of Co. Cork said she was delighted with the results and looks forward to all the beaches being officially opened again. Cork County Council is awaiting the outcome of discussions with the HSE in relation to the swimming notices. All identified beaches will continue to be monitored as per the agreed monitoring calendar with the EPA.
Video by @lensdan
Two short video clips of The Diving Rocks at Youghal Lighthouse back in 2006 and 2002. Some people in the video are Mikey Joyce who was once a lifeguard in Youghal back in 1949 ( which took in the beginning of the ‘Prom’ on the front strand all the way out to Redbarn Beach which he singularly guarded!) – also Derry O’Sullivan, late of the Anchor Bar, Youghal, Liam Carroll, Eamon O’Halloran, Vincie Carroll, Bill Field, Joe O’Dea. Filmed by Liam Burke at The Diving Rocks, Youghal Lighthouse, Co Cork, Ireland.
The Diving Rocks at Youghal Lighthouse 2006
The Diving Rocks at Youghal Lighthouse 2002
This second short video clip also features Mikey Joyce at The Diving Rocks at Youghal Lighthouse back in 2002 – Thanks to Liam Burke for the video footage.
The only town in Ireland to be awarded three Blue Flags for 2011, Youghal was celebrating last night (Thursday 9th June 2011) and hoping that the announcement by Environment Minister Phil Hogan will draw much-needed additional tourism into the area. The east Cork town gained an extra flag for its Front Strand while retaining the standard for both Redbarn and Claycastle – much to the delight of the Town Council.
“We had an inkling of the news last week but we now have three Blue Flag beaches that stretch across all areas of our strand. This is a very rare achievement and we are absolutely thrilled,” Helen Mulcahy, acting Town Clerk, told the Cork News.
“We were very disappointed when we lost the Blue Flag for Front Strand. There was a problem with the water quality but it really was borderline and could be attributed to bad weather at the time. Readings are taken at certain times of the year though, and they don’t always do justice to the quality of the water.
“However, this year we ticked all the boxes. We’ve been working very hard cleaning the beaches and putting various facilities in place like wheelchair ramps and litter bins. We’ve been going around the clock trying to meet all the criteria and thankfully we have managed to do just that. This is a great achievement for the Town Council, the local Tidy Town group and for Cork County Council.”
There are high hopes the news will result in more tourists coming in to visit the town, which has suffered badly from factory closures and job losses over the last number of years. “Youghal has been very badly hit recently, especially by the amount of unemployment we’re seen. One of the few assets the town has left is its beaches and we have to do everything we can to exploit that,” Ms. Mulcahy added.
“Youghal has beautiful strands and it’s a wonderful place to come and visit or spend some time on holiday. If visitors come, it could well generate more employment in the locality and hopefully start something positive. People come from far and wide to use Blue Flag beaches and tend to avoid ones that aren’t designated with the award. So we do expect a good response from the public and for them to come in their droves, especially if the sun starts to shine.”
Cork received 11 Blue Flags in total for criteria such as water quality, information provision and beach management and the national total of 82 is an increase of eight from 2010. The other beaches in Cork are Garryvoe, Garretstown, Garrylucas, Inchydoney, Owenahincha, the Warren, Tragumna and Barleycove.
Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Tourism, Sandra McLellan, has welcomed the awarding of an unprecedented three Blue Flags to Youghal, with the Front Strand beach now joining Claycastle and Redbarn beaches on the prestigious list.
Speaking at the announcement of this year’s winners Deputy McLellan said: “I want to congratulate all of this year’s winners. The result for Youghal, in particular, is an absolutely outstanding achievement. To be awarded three Blue Flags surely confirms Youghal as the finest coastal resort in the country. The awards reflect a dedication to excellence and are a result of a huge effort from the local authority, staff and community. Their commitment to the campaign, including beach clean-ups organised by a range of voluntary groups, has been rewarded with this fantastic news.”
“It is important to remember that the Blue Flag stands for more than just excellent bathing water quality, but also reflects a beach’s compliance with a range of international standards covering areas such litter management, provision of lifeguards, toilet facilities, animal control and more. As such, the three Blue Flags which Youghal can now boast conveys, to potential visitors at home and abroad, that this area is dedicated to providing a first class experience in a first class environment.”