Speed Reads

beach is back

This Irish beach was washed away 33 years ago. It reappeared seemingly overnight.

Fierce storms in 1984 swept away the sands of Ireland's Dooagh, Achill Island, leaving behind only rocks and rock pools where the beach's sandy expanse once was. But now, 33 years later, the beach is back.

Thanks to a "freak tide" in April, The Guardian reported that "hundreds of tons of sands" were dumped back onto the shore, transforming the rocky 300 meters of land into a beach once again. "Before it disappeared, the beach had been there for as long as living memory, almost continuously, until 1984-85," said Sean Molloy, a manager at Achill Tourism. The beach was perhaps best known for author Graham Greene's visit there in the late 1940s; he reportedly wrote parts of The Heart of the Matter and The Fallen Idol while he was there.

Molloy said that since the tide "transported sand in from elsewhere," tourists have been flocking to the re-appeared beach. "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.