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Irish beach washed away 33 years ago reappears overnight aft
Mon May 8, 2017 08:52

Irish beach washed away 33 years ago reappears overnight after freak tide
Villagers express delight after entire beach that vanished in Achill Island storms in 1984 turns back sands of time
Irish beach reappears 33 years after being washed away

Henry McDonald Ireland correspondent
Monday 8 May 2017 06.13 EDT Last modified on Monday 8 May 2017 17.00 EDT

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 around Easter this year, hundreds of tonnes of sand were deposited around the area where the beach once stood, recreating the old 300-metre stretch of golden sand.

Sean Molloy, manager at Achill Tourism, 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,” he said. “Since people have seen the news of the beach, we have had plenty more visitors from the middle of the country.”

Dooagh beach, Achill Island, 2015, before the sand came back.
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Dooagh beach, Achill Island, in 2015, before the sand came back. Photograph: Sean Malloy/Achill Island Tourist Office
Achill Island is a remote, rugged and unspoilt peninsula in the west of Ireland. Its most famous inhabitant was Heinrich Böll, the German anti-Nazi Nobel prize-winning writer, who lived on the island in the 1950s and 60s.

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

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