Alliance shocked at threat to blue flag beaches

Strangford Alliance Assembly Member, Kieran McCarthy, has expressed his shock that Northern Ireland’s beaches may lose blue flag status due to a lack of funding. Tidy Northern Ireland has announced that while cleanliness standards should not decrease, funding has been lost for the provision of a beach officer therefore beaches here may not be able to gain blue flag status.

Kieran McCarthy said: “Its very disappointing to hear that beaches here may lose out on blue flag status due to lack of funding for the provision of a beach officer.

“We must maximise our tourism potential here and the loss of blue flag status will be a blow to the local tourism industry. While I recognise that this does not necessarily mean a drop in cleanliness standards, blue flag status is the internationally recognise rating for beaches and if we have none here, it will damage our reputation in the area of international tourism.

“I hope that a deal can be struck to ensure that Tidy Northern Ireland receive the funding necessary to safeguard blue flag status on beaches here, because any scheme which gives our tourism industry a boost and helps the environment at the same time is one which must be retained.”


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