The lost beach of Achill Island has returned after being gone for 33 years. Achill Island’s Dooagh Beach was a sand-covered strand until the summer of 1984 when a series of storms washed all the sand away, leaving a bare and rocky shore. Now, strong northerly winds and tides, over a period eight to ten days, have carried tons of sand and shells to the shore, restoring beach to its previous sandy glory.
Achill Island in County Mayo, off the west coast of Ireland, is country’s the largest island, at roughly 57 square miles. With a population of under 3,000, the economy relies primarily on tourism. The return of Dooagh Beach has already triggered a flood of tourists.
“Yesterday we had gridlock here in the village with cars and campervans and people coming from all over Ireland and the UK to see our new beach,” Emmet Callaghan from Achill Island Tourist Office told the BBC.
“The people here have always spoken about their days on the beach and how they enjoyed it as children and now to have it back with their kids is unbelievable.”
While a beach disappearing and reappearing is uncommon, it is not unheard of. In the 2015, the entire beach at the village of Porthleven in Cornwall washed away in a single night, only to have it wash all back in a few days later.
Thanks to Phil Leon for contributing to this post.