10 May 2024

Northern Ireland celebrates its award-winning beaches and marinas

The local winners of the international Blue Flag Award and the UK-wide Seaside Award have been revealed for 2024. 

Photo Caption (L-R): DAERA Minister Andrew Muir MLA alongside Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Mayor, Cllr Steven Callaghan, pictured with John Thompson and Carol Forster of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful to celebrate the Beach and Marina Awards 2024.

Five council areas have been rewarded for their work in maintaining environmental excellence.  

Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful announced that 9 beaches and 7 marinas earned the prestigious Blue Flag Award distinction after meeting world-class standards in criteria such as safety, accessibility, cleanliness, environmental education and, for beaches, water quality.  

The local success does not end with the Blue Flag. A further 6 beaches received Seaside Awards, the UK’s mark of quality that ensures visitors are guaranteed to find a clean, safe, attractive, and well-managed coastal stretch.  

Dr Ian Humphreys, CEO of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful said:  

"We are incredibly pleased to see so many local beaches and marinas have been successful at this year’s awards. Each flag shows the public that these are sites worth visiting and cherishing. Keeping our beaches tidy is essential to our environmental and economic future.  

I want to thank the many workers across winning sites who helped make this happen. Their work is critically important in making Northern Ireland a place with the best European beaches and marinas."

The Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Andrew Muir said:

“I am delighted that once again so many of Northern Ireland’s beaches have received the coveted Blue Flag and Seaside Awards, and that our first-class marinas have also been recognised. These awards are a testament to the hard work and dedication of those who manage our beaches. The awards let our citizens and people around the world know that Northern Ireland is open for business and that our beaches and marinas are clean, well-managed and safe to enjoy.”  

Mayors from across councils, and beach and marina operators were invited to collect the awards at a presentation ceremony at the Slieve Donard Hotel, Newcastle, on 7th May. The occasion was organised by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, who manage the accreditations locally.   

This year’s awards ceremony was sponsored by the Slieve Donard Hotel, and supported by DAERA.  

The award-winning locations will now have their respective flags in place for the Northern Ireland bathing season, which runs from 01 June to 15 September.