A beach that washed away 30 years ago has suddenly reappeared, just in time for the Great British summer, much to the delight of locals.
The seaside village of Dooagh on Achill Island boasted a beautiful beach until spring storms of 1984 washed all the sand away, dredging tourism away and leaving just desolate rock pools.
The storm forced local guest houses and BnBs to close their doors after sun-worshippers stopped seeking out the no-longer-sandy coastal area, which stretches for over 300m.
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However this week, a freak tide has dumped thousands of tonnes of sand back where it belongs, much to the delight of locals, whose village is nestled into the coast of Ireland.
Sean Molloy, manager at Achill Tourism, said:
Before it disappeared, the beach had been there for as long as living memory, almost continuously, until 1984-85. During that time there was some big storms that really destroyed the beach and it was completely washed away and 1984 was the last time the beach was there.
Then in April when we had that cold snap over Easter, the wind was coming in from the north. It was very constant and steady and it must have transported eroded material in from elsewhere.
It’s so nice for the villagers to have their beach back. It is an incredible example of the force and power of nature and how the coast can change in a matter of days.
Alan Gielty, 48, the third generation of restaurateurs said:
It disappeared back in the 80s after a very, very bad sea storm. The storms will decimate all the sand. We were just left with rocks.
The sand used to come in a little in the Spring but never anywhere near the volume that has this last year. But now it’s back. It’s great. We’ve had hundreds of thousands of tons in the last couple of months. It’s amazing. We haven’t had a beach for a long, long time.
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. Since people have seen the news of the beach on the news we have had plenty more visitors from the middle of the country.
Dr Ivan Haigh, associate professor in coastal oceanography at the University of Southampton, said: “Sand along the coast is in a constant state of flux, moved by storms, waves and wind. It is also influenced by the available supply of sediment from stretches of coastline many 100 km’s away.”
Locals are now hoping the sand will stay long enough for the beach to be given blue-flag status after next year’s inspection.