An Irish sand beach that disappeared more than 30 years ago has returned to a small island off the coast of County Mayo.
The golden sand beach was washed away by storms way back in 1984 leaving behind in its wake a stony outcrop and a collection of rock pools.
Locals from the Irish village of Dooagh on Achill Island were overjoyed as hundreds of thousands of tons of sand were dumped on the beach over ten days in April, returning a 300m stretch of sand to the popular area.
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.”
A local restaurant owner Alan Gielty, said the reformed beach was attracting a new influx of tourists.
“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.”
Tides have often been the bane of surfers, from shifting sandbars to some spots totally disappearing as the storms change the complexity of the seabed, but the returning of a sand beach is certainly something unusual.
Main Image: Photograph: Sean Malloy/Achill Island Tourist Office