Donegal beaches pass EPA inspections, but some e-coli found in Rathmullan

All 19 bathing areas in Donegal tested by the EPA last year have been passed as safe to swim in.

The 19 bathing areas tested in Donegal last year were Ballyhiernan in Fanad, Bundoran, Carrickfinn, Culdaff, Downings, Drumnatinny, Fintra, Killahoey, Lady's Bay in Buncrana, Lisfannon, Marble Hill, Murvagh, Narin, Portarthur in Derrybeg, Portnablagh, Portsalon, Rathmullan and Rossnowlagh.

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18 of them were rated as 'good', but Rathmullan only received a 'sufficient' rating. E-coli levels there were within the mandatory limits, but exceeded the guide levels.

Nationally, four beaches were rated as 'poor' after exceeding mandatory limits - Clifden Beach in Galway, Fountainstown in Cork, Rush in Dublin and Ballyheigue in Kerry.

The report also notes that in early June last year two beaches in Co. Donegal were closed temporarily because of the appearance of an algae bloom. The EPA says although the microbiological quality of bathing waters was not affected, large numbers of dead fish and shellfish appeared on the shore and had to be cleared.