Five beaches have failed to retain a blue flag status from last year, after their water quality was deemed to fall into a lesser category by An Taisce.

These beaches are Bray South Promenade in Wicklow; Warren, Cregane Strand in Cork; Traught in Kinvara, Co Galway; Carrowmore and Clare Island in Co Mayo.

While these beaches did not achieve an "excellent" water quality classification, they still received a classification of "good" " based on analysis of samples taken over the last four bathing seasons.

Meanwhile, a record 95 beaches and marinas will receive blue flag awards this year for their water and general environmental quality.

The announcement was made today by Minister of State for Heritage, Malcolm Noonan, and An Taisce who administer the blue flag project in Ireland, at Curracloe beach in Co Wexford.

Curracloe is one of 85 beaches to be awarded the coveted environmental status, along with 10 marinas which include an inland marina at Glasson in Co Westmeath.

"This year celebrates 35 years of the Blue Flag as an international programme and during that time the Blue Flag has become an internationally-recognised symbol of high standards in water quality, environmental management, environmental education and safety," Minister Noonan said.

He commended the "great efforts" made by local authorities, An Taisce, coastal communities and volunteers for their work in keeping coastal areas clean.

An Taisce's Coastal Awards manager, Ian Diamond, said it is an occasion to celebrate the quality of coastal areas.

"It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to manage a beach or marina to the excellent standards required by these award programmes," he said.

There are two newcomers to the awards, Fountainstown in Co Cork and Trá Inis Oirr in Galway, while five beaches that had lost their blue flag in recent years have regained them.

Balcarrick Bech in Donabate, Fingal has been awarded a Blue Flag for the first time since 2016, while Ballybunnion North Beach, which last flew a Blue Flag in 2019 has been awarded for the 2022 bathing season.

Ballymoney North Beach in Co Wexford regains blue flag status having not been awarded it in 2021.

Youghal Front Strand in Co Cork and Rush South Beach in Co Dublin also were awarded flags after previously losing them.