Saturday, 20 May 2017

IRELAND: Beaches Fail Swim Test

Six popular bathing spots have failed to meet minimum EU standards, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s annual report which is released today.

The EPA’s Bathing Water Quality in Ireland report for 2016 found 130 of the country’s 140 bathing waters do meet minimum EU standards, with almost three quarters classed as “excellent” and further 18 were classed as “good”.

The number of waters classed as excellent and good are up one and five respectively compared to 2015.

However, six locations — Loughshinny, Merrion Strand, and Portrane, in Dublin, and Ballyloughane, Clifden, and Trá na bhForbacha in Galway — failed to meet EU standards.

They were classified as poor which the EPA says means that there is a risk of periodic microbiological pollution which could potentially cause illness such as skin rashes or gastric upset.

Ten beach or bathing areas were classified as being of sufficient water quality, and the EPA warned they “remain at risk of episodic pollution events.

They are The Warren/Creggane Strand in West Cork, Garryvoe and Youghal Front Strand beaches in east Cork, Lady’s Bay in Donegal, Balbriggan, Sandymount Strand, and Rush South Beach in Dublin, Tra na mBan in Galway, Bunmahon Beach in Waterford, and Duncannon in Wexford.

Over 40 front line tourism representatives from across the city and county were honoured last evening as 'Dublin Champions' at a ceremony at Teeling's.

Distillery, and are now fully armed to help visitors uncover some of Dublin's hidden stories and experiences.
Mark Rowlette and Maria Christie, Fáilte Ireland are pictured with the Dublin Champions at Teelings Distillery.

The group were recognised for completing the Dublin Champions Programme, a new initiative, developed by Fáilte Ireland to ensure visitors to Dublin receive an excellent experience and are provided with up to date information related to what is happening in Dublin. The Dublin Champions Programme has been running since May 2016 and to date a total of 450 have completed the programme.

Before being honoured at a reception at Teeling's Whiskey the group uncovered even more hidden gems around the city as they enjoyed a walking tour of the city stopping off at The Brazen Head, Marsh's Library and St John's Lane Church.

Speaking about the initiative, Mark Rowlette from Fáilte Ireland's Dublin Team said -

This initiative is going from strength to strength since its inception earlier last year. To put it simply, it's all about championing the knowledge and enthusiasm that front of house staff has for their city.

Visitors rely on the recommendations and advice given to them, so making sure that front-facing staff across Dublin businesses is delivering better visitor experiences to their guests and to promote to tourists all that can be experienced in Dublin city and county. This is really key to the success of this programme.

Fáilte Ireland’s creative advertising campaign for Ireland’s Ancient East picked up five awards at the Institute of Creative Design (ICAD) Awards in Dublin.

ICAD reward excellence and celebrate the best in Irish creative work and their awards are acknowledged internationally as a benchmark of creative excellence.

Two silver awards were presented to In the Company at Huskies for The Dunbrody Famine Timeline in the ‘Advertising Craft – Art Direction’ and ‘Digital – User Experience’ categories.

This winning piece of content tells the story of the Dunbrody Famine Ship and was developed specifically for the national tourism development authorities’ Ireland’s Ancient East website. The creative video can be viewed here.

The Dunbrody Famine Ship video was also commended in the ‘Film: TV, Cinema, Web – Web Film (over 60 seconds)’ category.

A further two bronze awards were presented to Rothco for Fáilte Ireland’s Ireland’s Ancient East Bedtime Stories campaign in both the ‘Advertising Broadcast – Editing’ and ‘Advertising Craft – Direction’ categories.

The campaign, which has been running since 2016, encourages Irish people to consider taking their next break in the East and South of Ireland and immerse themselves in 5,000 years of fascinating history, culture and tradition.

Speaking about the awards, Head of Marketing for Fáilte Ireland, Daragh Anglim emphasised –

ICAD are an organisation that inspires and rewards creative excellence in Irish advertising and design.

They reward work that is original, provocative, surprising and ground-breaking so it is an honour to have the content that we commissioned to promote Ireland’s Ancient East commended.

We are thrilled that the concept of telling Ireland’s Ancient East’s story has been acknowledged at such a scale and look forward to creating more compelling content to encourage people to visit the region for months and years to come.