Achill Island beach that hit international headlines when it reappeared after 33 years washes away
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Achill Island beach that hit international headlines when it reappeared after 33 years washes away

THE west of Ireland beach that miraculously reappeared in 2017 some 33 years after it vanished has once again been washed away by the Atlantic.

Dooagh Beach returned to the shoreline of Achill Island off the coast of County Mayo in April 2017, having disappeared during the winter of 1984/1985.

Over the course of just 10 days, hundreds of thousands of tonnes of sand were deposited back along the coastline.

The phenomenon sparked worldwide headlines and brought TV crews from the United States, Britain, France, Germany and the Netherlands to the picturesque Irish isle.

In the following months, Achill received a significant tourism boost as visitors to the island increased by 70% and 79 part time or full time jobs were created in the area.

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The beach pictured before and after its reappearance in April 2017 (Image: Sean Molloy/Achill Tourism)

The beach was eventually read about or seen on television by more than one billion people across the globe.

But this winter has seen the west coast of Ireland hit by some particularly strong storms and locals recently noticed that the sand levels were gradually eroding.

Over the past month, some heavy seas have once again been pounding Achill's shoreline – resulting in almost all of Dooagh's sand being washed away and replaced with large boulders.

Sean Molloy, manager of AchillTourism.com, filmed the original video that went viral featuring his wife Etain and their two dogs, Scrambler and Buddy, back in 2017 of the newly-returned beach.

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Sean Molloy of Achill Tourism, centre, says the isle's other stunning beaches will continue to attract visitors

He recreated the same scene this week and the difference was striking; the beautiful golden sands of Dooagh are no more.

However, Sean remains upbeat about the loss of the beach – which also vanished in the 1890s before returning within three decades.

"Fortunately, we are not short of beaches here on Achill and have 5 other Blue Flag beaches," he said.

"We are located on the Wild Atlantic Way and this just shows the awesome power of nature in its full glory.

"We 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."