Beaches in Ireland

Located in the North Atlantic, Ireland is an island nation across the Irish Sea and North Channel from Great Britain. Known as the Emerald Isle for its lush, green landscape, Ireland also boasts nearly 1500 km of coastline, and 13,000 km2 of coastal waters. Inland, Ireland has over 70,000 km of river channel, 12,000 lakes, and 850 km2 of estuaries.

The Irish coast is famous for its dramatic rocky cliffs and rugged shorelines. It is also a great place for recreational water use. There are ample coastal swimming locations around the country, and other activities such as paddle boarding, sea kayaking, and boating are all very popular.

Ireland has many popular and famous beaches, such as Inch Beach in Co Kerry, Dog’s Bay Beach in Co Galway, and Barley Cove Beach in Co Cork.

An extensive recreational water monitoring network exists in Ireland with nearly 200 monitored sites across the country. Of those, the EPA monitors 142 locations – 133 marine water and 9 fresh water. The other 50 sites are monitored by local, citizen science and grassroots groups such as Swim Guide affiliate Cork Harbour Waterkeeper, who monitor 12 sites in and around the Cork Harbour.

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