A stunning beach that returned after being lost at sea for 33 YEARS has vanished again – after it was hit by powerful winter storms.
Dooagh beach miraculously returned in April 2017 for the first time since 1984 – but has once again vanished into the Atlantic.
The 300m beach hit global headlines in 2017 when the picture-perfect gold sands found their way back to the coastline.
Over a ten day period a freak tide saw the sands return – and led to a 70% tourism boost and 79 part time or full time jobs being created in the area.
But powerful coastal winds caused by the likes of storm Ali, and other winter storms, have slowly eroded the beach away.
The once beautiful golden beach on Achill Island in Ireland has been replaced by huge boulders that litter the shoreline.
The seas pounded the beach and strong currents resulted in almost all of the sand being washed away.
Although the beach has gone, it may not be lost forever.
The sands are thought to have been dumped below the waves just 400m off the coast.
Sean Molloy, manager at Achill Tourism, said: “There is a hole in the village now for sure. It could be 30 years until we see the beach again.
“But a change in direction could see it come back again.
“Storm Ali had a huge effect on it. It reduced the sand levels right down.
“And then since Christmas it has just eroded away completely. Some of the boulders left there are a big as people.
“As a local I was very proud of the beach. The village will miss it. It was inevitable that he would disappear again. It was always on the cards.
“It just shows the power of nature. Aesthetically it’s not great I am a bit sad.”
Sean recreated the same scene he captured on video two years ago this week to reveal the stark difference between how the once golden beach used to look, compared to now.
Back in 1984 spring storms washed away all the sand laving only rock pools and the bare rock.
The village then saw its economy left decimated as the tourists left causing the hotels and guesthouses as well as the cafes to close down.
Before it vanished it has been a part of the village for as long as living memory.
Sean recalls how when the beach came back in 2017, tourism in the area “boomed” and people from all over the world dropped by to a pay a visit.
He said: “It was unbelievable and phenomenal really. So many people made sure they visited the beach if they were in Ireland.
“But it’s not as if tourism will collapse. We are lucky to have five blue flag beaches nearby. Some of them are the most beautiful in the country.
“We always knew that at some point our gorgeous beach would be washed away again, but we had hoped to have had it for a little longer.
The beach used to be integral to the population of Achill and during the 1845 famine, families moved to nearby to live off the fish and rich soils.
According to the history books, the beach at Dooagh vanished in the 1890s but had returned within three decades, when a pier was built in 1927.
Back then, a bugle would summon villagers to the beach when large amounts of wrack seaweed was washed ashore with the spring tides.
By Jack Longstaff
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