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Irish beach "returns" after 33-year absence

Irish beach "returns" after 33-year absence
By Atack Patrick
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Dooagh Bay in the far west of Ireland has seen its sandy beach return, 33 years after it was washed away in a storm.


Achill island is popular with tourists for its stunning landscapes, but 33 years ago a storm washed away the sandy beach in the village of Dooagh.

However, this April, another weather phenomenon restored sand to what had become a rocky outcrop.

In what was described as a “freak tide”, thousands of tonnes of sand were deposited on the coastline.

Residents are thrilled with their ‘new’ 300-metre long sandy beach and hopes are high that the return of the golden shoreline will help attract even more tourists to the picturesque Achill Island.

The local tourist board says the beach is expected to “remain in place for summer 2017”. If it does, the area can expect a significant boost.

Sean Molloy of Achill Tourism described its potential impact as “enormously significant”.

The tourist office has already reported “gridlock” with visitors from Ireland and the UK flocking to see Ireland’s newest beach.

Achill is the largest island off the coast of Ireland, and forms part of the Wild Atlantic Way tourist trail, which leads visitors from Cork in the south to the northern coast of County Donegal.

Scientists say there are two possible explanations for the sand’s sudden return, including “ a change in environmental conditions”, although they cannot yet say exactly why the beach returned when it did.

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