Presently no risk to Donegal coastline amid Derry toxic algae fears

Concern’s been expressed at the presence of potentially toxic algae on beaches in Derry, with swimming bans in place at Castlerock and Portstewart.

The beaches are very close to the North Inishowen coast, and Donegal County Council is monitoring the situation at the moment.

Cllr Martin McDermott has been speaking to council staff – He says at present, there is no risk to Donegal’s coastline:


Donegal County Council Statement:

Donegal County Council has in place a weekly sampling and monitoring programmes to assess the quality of all designated bathing waters across the county, including those with Blue Flag & Green Coast Awards. The Council is aware of the recent reports regarding potentially toxic algal blooms along the northern coastline and has alerted all relevant staff including the team of beach Life Guards who will be monitoring this at local level over the coming days, particularly in the Inishowen area. The Council has also engaged with the HSE’s Environmental Health team in relation to this matter, and have informed the Marine Institute, who may assist in any investigation required. If visual monitoring or observations by bathers over the weekend gives rise to concern, the public are advised to proceed as follows, (in accordance with HSE Bathing Water Health Guidance) –

• High levels of blue-green algae may cause illness in humans and animals including pets
• Avoid contact with scum, visible algae and surrounding water
• Do not swim in water near visible algae
• Do not touch scum on the shore
• Wash hands if you touch the algal material
• Keep children and pets away from the water’s edge
• Do not let pets drink the water. Wash pets if they come into contact with water