Five of the beaches are in Dublin

Seven beaches across the country have failed to meet minimum standards for water quality.

Five of the beaches labelled as 'poor' by the Environmental Protection Agency are in Dublin.

Sandymount Strand is new to the 2017 list.

The other beaches which have failed to scrub up in the capital are Merrion Strand, Loughshinny, Portrane and Rush South.

The other two beaches are Ballyloughane in Galway City and Clifden in County Galway.

However, EPA Senior Scientific Officer Peter Webster says overall water quality is excellent across the country.

Image: EPA

He explained: "Overall we've seen quality sustained - typically about three-quarters of our waters achieving the excellent standard.

"That's the same standard you'd find on beaches on the European mainland, or Lanzarote or Greece. We should be quite happy at that."

In total, 102 bathing waters - 71.8% of those tested - were classified as 'excellent', while 18 we classified as 'good'.

12 bathing areas were classified as being of ‘sufficient’ water quality - but the EPA warns they remain at risk of pollution.

Irish water says it recognises the urgent need to address locations where untreated wastewater enters bathing spots around the country, while the Green Party has called on the government to take immediate action.

Locals at Sandymount Strand in Dublin expressed disappointment at the spot's 'downgrade' this year.

One observed: "A lot of children play on this beach regularly, so I'd be concerned about it as well."

Another insisted: "Oh jeez no, you'd wouldn't get in that water - I wouldn't even wash my feet in it!"