The 2021 Green Flag Awards were announced earlier today at Malahide Castle by An Taisce Environmental Education, acknowledging Ireland's best public Parks and Gardens.

Recognised throughout the world as a mark of quality park or green space, the Green Flag Award Scheme aims to encourage the provision of good quality spaces that are managed in environmentally sustainable ways.

This year, Ireland well and truly knocked it out of the park (pardon the pun).

Over 2,300 public sites in 16 countries around the world have achieved Green Flag or Green Flag Community Award status. But, once again, more awards have been secured by Irish parks and gardens than by any country, other than the UK where the scheme originated in 1996.

International accreditation for public park excellence in Ireland has increased this year, with the country being awarded a total of 103 Green Flag sites, comprised of 84 formal public Green Flag Park sites, along with 19 volunteer run Green Community Sites.

There are now 32 local authorities and park operators partnering with An Taisce in delivering the international scheme. New green flag parks and gardens, accredited by teams of trained volunteer judges, include for the first-time sites from Counties Carlow, Meath, and Galway, as well as from Cork City.

Three of the 2021 Green Flag Award winning parks were also identified by the National Biodiversity Data Centre for an additional Pollinator Plan Award. This award is specifically for those Green Flag Parks or Gardens that have made an effort to support their local pollinating insects, or to promote their importance.

While there are pollinator project awards across different park categories it was Kilbarry Nature Park, operated by Waterford Council, that was the overall winner.

2021 Green Flag Awards:

  • Abbeyfeale Community Leisure Ltd Páirc Cois Féile / Abbeyfeale Park
  • Cavan County Council: Cavan Burren Park
  • Clare County Council: John O'Sullivan Park
  • Clare County Council Shannon Town Park
  • Clare County Council Tim Smythe Park
  • Clare County Council Vandeleur Walled Gardens
  • Cork City Council Fitzgerald’s Park
  • Cork City Council Shalom Park
  • Donegal County Council Barrack Hill Town Park
  • Dublin City Council Albert College Park
  • Dublin City Council Blessington Street Park
  • Dublin City Council Bushy Park
  • Dublin City Council Father Collins Park
  • Dublin City Council Herbert Park
  • Dublin City Council Markievicz Park
  • Dublin City Council Poppintree Park
  • Dublin City Council Saint Anne's Park
  • Dublin City Council Saint Audoen's Park
  • Dublin City Council Saint Patrick's Park
  • Dublin City Council Weaver Park
  • Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Blackrock Park
  • Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Cabinteely Park
  • Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Deansgrange Cemetery
  • Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Deerpark
  • Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Marlay Park
  • Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council People’s Park
  • Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Shanganagh Park
  • Fingal County Council Ardgillan Demesne
  • Fingal County Council Malahide Demesne
  • Fingal County Council Millennium Park
  • Fingal County Council Newbridge House and Farm
  • Fingal County Council Santry Demesne
  • Fingal County Council Saint Catherine’s Park
  • Galway City Council Children’s Millennium Park
  • Galway City Council Quinncentennial Park
  • Galway County Council The Palace Grounds
  • Kerry County Council Childers Park & Woodlands
  • Kerry County Council Tralee Bay Wetlands
  • Kerry County Council Tralee Town Park
  • Kildare County Council Liffey Linear Park Newbridge
  • Maynooth University/Saint Patrick’s College Maynooth Campus
  • Laois County Council Páirc an Phobail Portlaoise
  • Laois County Council Peoples Park Portarlington
  • Limerick Council The Peoples Park Limerick
  • Limerick Council Lough Gur Lakeshore Park and Visitor Centre
  • Longford County Council, The Mall
  • Louth County Council Blackrock Community Park
  • Louth County Council Ice House Hill Park
  • Louth County Council Saint Helena Park
  • Louth County Council Saint Dominic’s Park
  • Mayo County Council Jackie Clarke Collection Heritage Garden
  • Mayo County Council Turlough Park
  • Midland Amenity Park Dún na Sí Amenity & Heritage Park
  • National Parks and Wildlife Service Connemara National Park
  • National Parks and Wildlife Service Glenveagh National Park
  • National Parks and Wildlife Service Killarney House and Gardens
  • National Parks and Wildlife Service Ballycroy Visitor Centre – Wild Nephin National Park
  • National University of Ireland Galway National University of Ireland Galway Campus
  • North Mayo Heritage Centre Enniscoe
  • Offaly County Council Lloyd Town Park Tullamore
  • Office of Public Works Altamont House and Gardens
  • Office of Public Works Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre
  • Office of Public Works Castletown Demesne
  • Office of Public Works Derrynane Historic Park
  • Office of Public Works Fota Arboretum & Gardens
  • Office of Public Works Garinish Island
  • Office of Public Works Grangegorman Military Cemetery
  • Office of Public Works Irish National War Memorial Gardens
  • Office of Public Works The Iveagh Gardens
  • Office of Public Works The Phoenix Park Victorian Walled Garden
  • Office of Public Works Saint Stephen's Green
  • Sport Ireland National Sports Campus Sport Ireland Campus
  • South Dublin County Council Corkagh Park
  • South Dublin County Council Rathfarnham Castle Park
  • South Dublin County Council Sean Walsh Park
  • South Dublin County Council Tymon Park
  • South Dublin County Council Waterstown Park
  • Waterford City and County Council Kilbarry Nature Park
  • Waterford City and County Council Waterford Greenway
  • Waterford Institute of Technology Waterford Institute of Technology Sports Campus
  • Westmeath County Council Mullingar Town Park
  • Wexford County Council Pearse Park - New Ross
  • Wexford County Council The New Ross Library Park
  • Wicklow County Council Glendalough Cemetery

Green Heritage Site Accreditation
Today also saw the roll-out of Green Heritage Site Accreditation across Ireland. With the support of the NPWS and the Department of Housing, Local Government, and Heritage, seven Irish Green Flag sites have now also been accredited with the standard, which is awarded to public green spaces of historical and cultural significance.

Minister of State with responsibility for Heritage; Malcolm Noonan, commended the Green Heritage Accreditation and offered the following statement of support:

"I am delighted that the National Parks and Wildlife Service of my Department supports and co-funds the Green Heritage Site Accreditation Programme. This scheme is a welcome and important complement to the existing Green Flag Award.

"The Green Heritage Accreditation widens the pool of sites that can participate in the programme and highlights the multifaceted nature of our green spaces. The scheme brings together the human and natural aspect of a place. It celebrates best practice in engagement with multi-layered heritage and reminds us all of our responsibility to appreciate and preserve richness and diversity of the green spaces that surround us".