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The water quality of Garryvoe Beach has been deemed sufficient. Pic: Denis Scannell
The water quality of Garryvoe Beach has been deemed sufficient. Pic: Denis Scannell
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All of Cork’s bathing beaches pass water quality standards

All of Cork's 13 bathing beaches have passed EU standards for water quality in the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) annual report for 2016.

Eight of the beaches have been classed as “excellent”: including Barley Cove; Fountainstown; Garretstown; Garrlylucas White Strand; Inchydoney, Owenahincha's Little Island Strand; Redbarn and Tragumna.

Coolmaine and Youghal's Claycastle have been categorised as “good”, while Garryvoe, Warren and Youghal's Front Stand Beach have been deemed “sufficient”.

Six of Cork's beaches have improved since last year's report and only Warren beach reflected a negative change.

In 2014, Garryvoe beach in East Cork was closed due to poor water quality after high levels of bacteria were discovered following a runoff from the surrounding hinterland.

All of Kerry's 15 bathing beaches were deemed to have excellent bathing water quality, while three-quarters of Irish beaches are of “excellent” quality for bathing and 92% met minimum standards.

Dr Matt Crowe, Director EPA's office of evidence and assessment said all of Ireland's beaches should have passed the rigorous testing standards.

“All bathers are entitled to feel that they and their loved ones are safe from harm from the water they swim in when they spend a day at the beach. More needs to be done...,” he said.

“It is simply unacceptable to have popular bathing areas classified as being of poor quality,” he added.

EPA Senior Scientific Officer Peter Webster said beach users should always check ahead for live updates on water quality.

“Throughout the season, current water quality information and details of any incidents affecting bathing waters will be displayed on the national bathing water website, splash.epa.ie,” he said.

“Bathers visiting these waters are advised to check the website and their local beach notice boards for information on current water quality. A Twitter notification service, @EPABathingWater, is also available to provide incident alerts and information of interest to bathers,” he added.