Back in 1984, a vicious storm stripped the sand off of a picturesque beach in northwest Ireland. And then, around Easter, a freak tide brought it all back. Locals seem thrilled.
Image: Achill Tourism / Gizmodo
The town at the centre of this Easter miracle is Dooagh on Achill Island in the County Mayo. When the Great Storms of 1984 came through, the once sand-tastic beach was obliterated, and all that remained were jagged rocks and rock pools. Try tossing a towel onto that landscape and soaking up some rays. But after “hundreds of tonnes of sand” appeared last month, apparently brought in by a combination of unusual winds and tidal activity, local businesses report the return of a once-thriving tourism industry.
“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,” Alan Gielty, the owner of a restaurant near the coast. “Since people have seen the news of the beach, we have had plenty more visitors from the middle of the country.”
This is a heartwarming story. Usually, when you hear about things washing ashore, it’s a bloated whale carcass or a bazillion jellyfish. Earlier this year, $US60 million ($81 million) worth of cocaine washed ashore in eastern England. And who could forget the thousands of dead bees that showed up on a beach in Naples, Florida back in April? Or the thousands of hypodermic needles that appeared in Newport Beach, California back in December? That’s no fun.
The ocean gods are smiling down on Ireland this season, however. It’s unclear how long the once lost beach will remain in Dooagh. Climate change could have some surprises in store. But for now, a little Irish village got its beach back, and that’s great news.