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Ireland: Beaches and Swimming

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Okay...and away we go. In July of 2008, my cousin and I are visiting the emerald isle. We have several questions so I'll post them individually (and with proper subject headings-eek!). I'd like to factor in beach time as that's a plus for her. I've looked up temperatures and have noted they rarely go above the high 60s and I've checked out blueflag.org and know that there are sandy beaches. I'm just curious as to how they compare to New England beaches. Cold? Swimmable? Any comments on the prospect of swimming and tanning/relaxing comfortably at a beach in Ireland? I haven't specified region because we're open to suggestions and to all regions. Some have gulf streams and all that jazz that affect climate. Anyone have feedback? Thanks for the time and help!

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