Blue Flag sessions for Clare schoolchildren

Blue Flag sessions for Clare schoolchildren

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Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017

More than 500 primary school students from 16 Clare schools have participated in Blue Flag Environmental Awareness sessions at the county’s 9 Blue Flag beaches.

Clare County Council and Clare Water Safety hosted the Blue Flag Beach and water safety awareness sessions at Whitestrand Miltown Malbay, Ballycuggeran, Whitestrand Doonbeg, Mountshannon, Cappa, Fanore, Spanish Point, Kilkee and Lahinch.

The prestigious Blue Flag eco-label is awarded to hundreds of beaches and a small number of marinas across Europe each year. The award challenges local authorities and beach operators to achieve high standards in the four main categories of water quality, environmental management, environmental education and safety.

Karen Foley, Environmental Awareness Officer with Clare County Council, described the awareness sessions as “fun but educational”, featuring environmental games such as ‘Race Against Waste’ relays, Treasure Hunts, Litter challenges, and other games on the themes of marine life, water safety and biodiversity.

“Children learned about what it means to have a Blue Flag beach as well as the requirements needed to keep Blue Flags flying at beaches across Clare. They also learned about the effects that littering has on the environment including the marine environment and about the importance of good bathing water quality,” added Ms. Foley.

Clare McGrath, Clare Water Safety Development Officer, said the awareness sessions also acted as a vehicle for bringing key water safety messages to primary school students and their families.

Meanwhile, visitors to Clare’s beaches are being urged to keep them clean but to also go the extra mile by participating in the An Taisce Clean Coast #2minutebeachclean initiative. Visit cleancoasts.org for more information.

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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