It only seems a short while ago that Achill Island and particularly Dooagh Beach became a worldwide media sensation after the beach returned over 30 years after it had supposedly vanished from the face of the earth.
Fast forward a rapid eight months and the Atlantic ocean is back to its old tricks after its forces have returned a second beach to the island, this time to the upper half at Ashleam Bay.
News broke last Thursday of the return of the beach as The Irish Times released a video of Ashleam native Malcom Cooney walking along the newly found strand giving a detailed account of his memories of the bay during his childhood.
Ashleam, which is a Wild Atlantic Way ‘discovery point’ on Achill’s southern coast, is a rather small stone covered cove approached by a series of Harpin bends and white cliffs.
According to local folklore, the beach returns every seven years for a short period of time. But in recent days, the change on the beach has been more evident than ever before and it is believed that this is the first time that the beach has returned since 2005.
“Fortunately, Achill is not short of beautiful locations, fabulous beaches and stunning scenery, but even by Achill’s high standards, Ashleam Bay is something special,” said Manager of Achill Tourism Sean Molloy.
It is not quite clear as to how long the beach will stay this time. The beach is the island’s only west facing beach and over the years locals have considered the beach to be one of the best locations to see the last sunset over Europe each New Year’s Eve.
The news of the return of the beach came on the back of the announcement last week that the island is set to host its first ever New Year festival, that being the Smithwicks 10º West Festival and it has ignited great excitement amongst locals heading into the upcoming festive period.