Fifteen of Kerry’s bathing waters have achieved the top quality rating, in a new list released by the Environmental Protection Agency. Around three quarters of all Irish bathing waters met the new, stricter standard of ‘excellent’ quality, based on an assessment of data for the period 2011 to 2014. The Kerry bathing waters which achieved the excellent standard rating, were Ballinskelligs, Ballybunion (North and South), Ballyheigue, Banna Strand, Castlegregory, Derrynane, Fenit, Ventry, Inch, Kells, Maharabeg, Rossbeigh, White Strand, Inny Strand, Waterville and White Strand, Cahersiveen. These were named among 128 coastal and nine inland bathing waters which met the new, stricter criteria. Spokesman for the EPA, Peter Webster, said that despite the disappointing weather this summer, Kerry’s bathing waters are still of very high standard. While strong onshore winds have recently caused restrictions to be put in place at some Kerry beaches, he said the microbiological quality is largely unaffected. He urged Kerry bathers, however, to get in touch with SPLASH, the national bathing water website, to check out water quality before heading for a swim.