Wed, May 10, 2017 - Page 6 News List

Irish beach that washed away in 1984 reappears

The Guardian

A woman walks her dogs along Dooagh beach after a storm returned sand to it on Achill island, Ireland, on Saturday.

Photo: Sean Molloy / Achill Tourism via Reuters

An Irish beach that disappeared more than 30 years ago has returned to an island off the County Mayo coast.

The sand at Dooagh, Achill Island, was washed away by storms in 1984, leaving only rocks and rock pools, but after a freak tide at Easter this year, hundreds of tonnes of sand were deposited around the area where the beach once stood, recreating the old 300m stretch of golden sand.

Achill Tourism manager Sean Molloy said local people were delighted to have the beach back.

Recalling the events of 1984, he said: “Some big storms destroyed the beach. It was completely washed away and 1984 was the last time the beach was there. Then in April we had that cold snap over Easter and the wind was coming from the north. It was steady and must have transported sand in from elsewhere.”

Alan Gielty, who runs a local restaurant, said the reformed beach was attracting a new influx of tourists.

“We have a beautiful little village as it is, but it is great to look out and see this beautiful beach instead of just rocks,” Gielty said. “Since people have seen the news of the beach, we have had plenty more visitors from the middle of the country.”

Achill Island is a remote, rugged and unspoilt peninsula in the west of Ireland. Its most famous inhabitant was Heinrich Boell, the German anti-Nazi Nobel prize-winning writer, who lived on the island in the 1950s and 1960s.

His former cottage has been transformed into a retreat for writers and a place where Boell fans pay homage.

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