Irish beach reappears after being washed away 33 years ago

May 10, 2017 | Environment
Dooagh Beach: tourists are returning to the sands of Achill Island | Photo: Achill Island Tourist Office

An Irish beach located near the village of Dooagh has reappeared 33 years after being washed away by a storm.

In the winter of 1984, Dooagh Beach - a 300-meter stretch of coastline located on County Mayo's Achill Island - vanished when a violent storm replaced sand with rocks.

At the time, the local economy was fully anchored on tourism, and many restaurants, shops, and hotels were forced to close their doors.

However, in April 2017, highly shifting tides, strong winds, and swell worked cooperatively to restore hundreds of tons of golden sand to their previous location almost overnight.

"I was about 13 years of age when the beach disappeared. And for many years, I was looking down along the shore where there was just rocks and seaweed and green moss when the tide went out," explains Emmet Callaghan, spokesman for the Achill Island Tourist Office.

"And over the last few weeks, maybe starting last year even, the sand came out into the bay - not on the beach but out into the bay - so the color of the sea changed a little bit. It got a lighter color."

"And over about a week - just after Easter - a very cold and steady north wind blew. And however it works I don't really know, but it brought all our sand back onto the beach again after 33 years," concludes Callaghan.

According to old reports, there was a beach before the 1890s, it vanished for a while, and returned in 1920s. Then, it disappeared for about a year in the 1940s, and then it came back to life again until 1984.

The Achill Island has a population of around 3,000, and the new sands bring new hope to the locals. People from all over the world have heard the news, and they're returning to Dooagh Beach to enjoy its stunning strip of beach.