Ireland Low in Bathing League

Ireland is in the bottom third of European nations when it comes to bathing water of the highest quality, an assessment of almost 22,000 coastal and inland swimming spots has found.

Just under under 77% of areas in Ireland classed as suitable for bathing were deemed as being of excellent quality, compared to the EU average of around 85%, according to figures from the European Environment Agency (EEA). Countries such as Poland and Slovakia were found to have 50% or less of their respective bathing waters deemed to be of excellent quality in 2021, ranking at the bottom of the list across Europe. 

By contrast, Austria, Malta, Greece, and Croatia all had scores of more than 95% when it came to water quality of the highest standard when it comes to swimming, with Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Lithuania, Portugal, Finland, Italy, and Spain all scoring around 87% or more.

Some 274 areas in Ireland, both coastal and inland, were examined as part of the assessment.