Bathing Water Status: Green Coast 2019 Silver Strand is a beautiful sandy beach with magnificent views of Cape Clear Island and the Atlantic
Bathing Water Status: Identified 2019 Red Strand is Green Flag Beach located in a horseshoe bay near Rosscarbery in County Cork.
Bathing Water Status: Identified 2019 Claycastle Beach is a gently sandy beach with a narrow area of marsh/dunes (part of Ballyvergan Marsh).
Bathing Water Status: Green Coast 2019 Oysterhaven Beach is located in Ballinaclashet Creek approximately 6 km east of Kinsale, & 3.3 km south west of Nohaval, in Co.
Status of bathing water:  Identified Bathing Water 2019 Coolmain beach is located south of Kilbrittain village.
Status of bathing water: Blue Flag 2019 Garrylucas, White Strand is a sandy beach with sand dunes in part.  It is located beside the R604 road and adjacent to Kilcolman Marsh and the Old
Status of bathing water: Blue Flag 2019 Garretstown is a sandy beach.
Status of bathing water: Green Coast 2019 Fountainstown beach is located on the South Cork coast, west of the entrance to Cork Harbour and on the northern side of Ringabella Bay.
Status of Bathing Water: Green Coast 2019 Rocky Bay is approximately 300m wide from end to end, located near Minane Bridge, Cork. It is an open beach facing South-South East.
Status of bathing area: Green Coast 2019 Inch Strand is a popular local sandy beach bordered by two streams situated about 9 miles south of Midleton.
Status of bathing water: Green Coast 2019 Greenlands (known locally)/Ring Strand is a quiet but popular local beach situated about 2 miles from the nearest village of Ballymacoda in East
Status of Bathing Water: Green Coast 2019 Ardnahinch Beach is located near Shanagarry in Co Cork in a wide bay with views to Ballycotton and the Island lighthouse.
Status of bathing water: Identified Bathing Water 2019 Garryvoe is a mixed pebble beach located in the village of Garryvoe.  The most direct way to approach it is by car is to leave the N
Status of bathing water: Blue Flag 2019 The coastal resort of Redbarn is located approximately 2 kilometres south west of Youghal and is situated within an area comprising considerable na
Status of bathing water: Identified 2019 Youghal Front strand is a sandy beach located beside Youghal town just off the N25.
Status of bathing water: Green Coast 2019 Garnish Strand is located 10.5km west of Allihies Village and 3km east of Dursey Cable Car. The beach forms an inlet within the larger Garnish Ba
Bathing Water Status: Green Coast 2019
Bathing Status: Green Coast 2019 Cadogan's Strand is located in a small inlet in the North East corner of Schull Harbour approx.
Status of bathing water: Green Coast 2019 Galley Cove beach is located on the eastern side of the Mizen Head Peninsula in West Cork, approx.
Status of bathing water:  Blue Flag 2019 Barleycove is situated on the Mizen Penninsula, 22km south west of Schull.
Status of bathing water:  Green Coast 2019 Ballyrisode Beach is located 11km west of Schull Town. The beach forms an inlet within the larger Toormore Bay.
Status of bathing water:  Blue Flag 2019 Tragumna is a sandy, sheltered beach situated about 4 miles from Skibberreen.
Status of bathing water: Identified Bathing Water 2019 The Warren is a sandy beach located at the mouth of Rosscarbery Bay and accessed by turning off the N71 at Warren Cross.
Status of bathing water: Blue Flag 2019 Owenahincha is a sandy beach backing onto sand dunes.
Status of bathing water: Green Coast 2019 East Beach Inchydoney is located 4km from Clonakilty Town.  The beach is popular with bathers and wind surfers.
Status of bathing water: Blue Flag 2019 Inchydoney Beach is a sandy south facing beach located at the north east of Clonakilty Bay. The beach is backed by sand dunes.


Bathing Water Monitoring


The Environment Department of Cork County Council is responsible for monitoring bathing water quality and making information available to the public during the bathing season.
All bathing waters are required to meet stringent microbiological standards for Intestinal Enterococci and Escherichia Coli (E. Coli) in order to protect the health of people who choose to bathe there.

Local Authorities are required to take a minimum of five (5) samples per bathing season, one sample before the start of the bathing season and a minimum of four samples distributed throughout the bathing season. The bathing season in any year runs from 1st June to 15th September. The pre-season sampling period runs from 22nd to 31st May.

For more information on bathing water Quality legislation log onto

Water Quality Information is displayed at each beach and can also be accessed at

Identification of Bathing Waters

Of the 27 beaches currently monitored formally by Cork County Council Environment department 14 of these are Identified under the Bathing Water Quality regulations 2008 (SI No.79 of 2008---Directive 2006/7/EC).  The current list of Identified Bathing Areas in County Cork are below.

  • Youghal Claycastle
  • Youghal Front strand
  • Redbarn
  • Garryvoe
  • Garretstown
  • Garrylucas
  • Coolmaine
  • Fountainstown
  • Inchydoney
  • Owenahincha
  • Warren
  • Tragumna
  • Barleycove
  • Inchydoney East

Local authorities decide on which bathing waters are "identified" for monitoring, management and assessment under the 2008 Bathing Water Quality Regulations. The public can propose new identified bathing waters for consideration by Cork County Council by submitting nominations by post or by e-mail.  The postal address is as follows: Identified Bathing Waters, Municipal District Operations and Rural Operations, Cork County Council, Floor 5, County Hall, Cork or alternatively nominations can be e-mailed to

To make a full submission, please use the EPA Guideline document for the public and relevant application form included under Annex 1, which must be completed and returned with supporting documentation in order to make a fuller assessment of any submission. click here for document.

For further information regarding participation in the identification of new bathing waters process you can e-mail  The following link is also useful 

List of Blue Flag Beaches

Of the beaches currently monitored by Cork County Council Environment department, 7 identified bathing waters have achieved Blue Flag Status for 2019 season.

The list of 7 Blue Flags awarded to Cork for the 2019 bathing season are as follows:

  •     Garrylucas (Ballinspittle)
  •     Garretstown (Ballinspittle)
  •     Redbarn (Youghal)
  •     Inchydoney (Clonakilty)
  •     Barleycove (Schull)
  •     Owenahincha (Roscarbery)
  •     Tragumna (Skibbereen)


The Blue Flag Award is an International Campaign administered in Ireland by An Taisce (The National Trust for Ireland) with support from the Department of Environment, Heritage and local Government and at the European level by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). To receive a Blue Flag, an identified bathing area must meet stringent microbiological standards in order to protect the health of bathers who choose to bathe there.

(Directive 2006/7/2008)

In addition, bathing areas must meet specified criteria with regard to the provision of Safety, Services and Facilities, Environmental Management of the beach area and Environmental Education.

The Blue Flag is awarded on an annual basis. All monitoring results are sent to An Taisce once they are received by the Local Authority. An Taisce carry out inspections during the bathing season to establish level of compliance with all the Blue Flag Criteria. Applications for Blue Flags are made annually by the Local Authority. Award winners can fly a blue flag during the bathing season from the beginning of June until 2nd week in September.
Blue Flag beaches are maintained to the relevant Blue Flag standards with provision of car parking, public toilets, lifeguards, litter control and environmental information/activities offered during the summer months by the County Council through the relevant Area Engineer's office. The necessary water quality monitoring and maintenance of the Blue Flag Award in Cork is the responsibility of the Environment Directorate of Cork County Council which is based at Inniscarra.

Further information on Blue flag awards can be found at


List of Green Coast Beaches

Of the beaches currently monitored by Cork County Council Environment department 14 bathing waters have achieved Green Coast status for the 2019 season.

The current list of Green Cost bathing waters for Cork 2019 are:

  • Ring
  • Ardnahinch
  • Inch
  • Oysterhaven
  • Ballyrisode
  • Galleycove
  • Dooneen Pier (Sheeps Head)
  • Garinish
  • Red Strand
  • Fountainstown
  • Rocky bay
  • Silver Strand, Sherkin Island
  • Cadogan's Strand
  • East Beach Inchydoney

The Green Coast Awards were first operated with Authorities in Wales and now extend to the coastline of Ireland.
It is funded by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and is supported by Fáilte Ireland, Coca Cola and SECAD (South East Cork Area Development).
Cork County Council achieved its first 2 Green Coast awards in 2009, this has increased substantially to 14 awards in 2019.

The Green Coast Award is a specially designed award for those rural beaches which have excellent water quality but do not necessarily have the strict infrastructure that is required to meet all the criteria set for Blue Flag status e.g. toilets, parking, lifeguards, etc.
Community involvement through local coast care groups is a requirement for the Green Coast Award and Cork County Council would like to commend the excellent work and commitment of our local community / coast care groups in the management and care of their local coastline.
Further information on Green Coast awards can be found at


Further Information

Application for a Beach Permit for 2020.

Beach Bye-laws can be found here.


Water Safety Tips

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                                     Water Safety Awareness                           


  • Always try and swim on beaches or at locations where lifeguards are on duty. Never swim alone.









  • Don’t swim just after eating
  • Never swim in the dark, or when you are hot or tired
  • Avoid swimming in strange places
  • Never swim out to sea after drifting objects
  • Don’t stay in the water too long
  • Never swim out to sea
  • Always swim parallel and close to the shore
  • Obey lifeguards and swim between lifeguard flags
  • Exercise caution when using inflatable toys
  • Pay attention to signs on the beach
  • Never encourage others or make them take risks in the water
  • Those going sailing or using other water craft must always wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aids.


More information on Water Safety in Cork can be found here.


Useful Links

Identified Bathing Waters in County Cork

There are currently 14 identified bathing water areas in the County of Cork presently monitored in accordance with the Directive EU 76/160/EEC and the Quality of Bathing Water Regulations 2008 ( SI 79/2008) and amendments.

These are:


Youghal Front strand


Youghal Claycastle
















Cregane Warren








East Beach Inchydoney


The bathing season commences mid May to 15th of September. Each identified bathing area has one sampling location at a place which corresponds to where the daily average density of bathers is highest. All monitoring results for the identified bathing areas are reported to the EPA at the end of each bathing season for inclusion in the assessment of compliance with EU Bathing Water Standards.

For more information on bathing water results submitted and designated bathing areas status please refer to the EPA SPLASH website at

At the moment, each bathing water site is analysed for compliance with the following microbiological parameters as specified in accordance with the EU Bathing Water Directive 76/160/EEC: 

Escherichia Coli and Intestinal Enterococci.

The new 2008 Bathing Water Regulations applies to waters where 'a large number of people are expected to bathe' and provides for the identification , monitoring, classification and management of those waters , the provision of information to the public and the encouragement of public participation particularly in relation to the identification of bathing waters. It does not apply to swimming pools, spa pools and other confined waters.

These regulations also require that all bathing waters must be classified as 'excellent', 'good', 'sufficient', or 'poor' on the basis of monitoring results from the previous four years.