Angela Lansbury reportedly played on the beach as a child in the 1930s.
Beach reappears near Dooagh on Achill Island

An Irish beach has spectacularly reappeared after it washed away over 30 years ago.

The beach on Achill Island disappeared in 1984, when heavy storms washed away practically all the sand, leaving behind only rock pools. But over the past few weeks, the ocean has been redepositing thousands of tons of sand, shells and pebbles on the shore near the village of Dooagh. Now there are nearly 1,000 feet of sandy shore where there once was just rock.

“In April when we had that cold snap over Easter, the wind was coming in from the north,” Sean Molloy, manager at Achill Tourism, told The Guardian. “It was very constant and steady and it must have transported eroded material in from elsewhere.”

The area used to rely on tourism, but after the sand went away, so did the hotels, guesthouses and cafes. Residents say that ever since the beach reemerged, people have been coming to visit. They are hoping to apply for Blue Flag beach status and restore access points from the village by next year.

The beach itself has a historic significance to Achill Island. During the 1845 famine, families moved to Dooagh to live off the fish and fertile soil.

In the 1940s, novelist Graham Greene stayed in a cottage on the beach where he wrote parts of a novel, screenplay and poetry, and in the '50s and '60s, Heinrich Böll, the German anti-Nazi Nobel prize-winning writer, lived and worked on the island. His home is now a retreat for other writers.