Delighted islanders are celebrating after a beautiful beach which “vanished” 12 years ago suddenly reappeared.
The white sands of Ashleam Bay on the picturesque island of Achill off the coast of Mayo in Ireland first disappeared in 2005.
Freak tides and storms are believed to have stripped away the stunning sands from the bay leaving just bare rock.
But this week locals noticed the beach had suddenly returned, and they believe it is all thanks to storm Brian — a massive weather event that lashed the UK with 70 mile-per-hour winds and heavy downpours in late October.
Seán Molloy, the manager of AchillTourism.com, said that the recent stormy weather had helped clear the beach of rocks and boulders, and after storm Brian, a huge dump of sand was left on the beach.
Molloy said: “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.”
“This is our second new beach. It came back following one of the big storms we’ve had over the past few weeks. It came back after storm Brian.”
“It brought the first amount of sand and cleared the boulders that was on the beach way as well.”
“There is local folklore that stretches back hundreds of years that says this beach comes back every seven years then disappears again.”
“It was last seen in 2005 and it stayed for a few months at that time before it was washed away again.”
“I’ve been to visit the beach. It was the first time I was ever down on that part of the shore, even though I’ve been here all my life, and I couldn’t get over how beautiful it was.
“It’s absolutely stunning, it’s a new favorite spot for me now. I don’t know how long it will be there, but I encourage anyone who is around to go and see it while it’s there.”
Now locals including, Malcolm Cooney, have been able to return to Ashleam Bay and take a stroll along its sands.
Cooney, who is a native of the island, said: “Every time I go down there it changes, it’s always different, never the same.”
Ashleam Bay is just 6 miles away from Achill’s other famous returning beach, Doonagh.
Earlier this year, the beach at Doonagh also returned having been stripped away during a storm an astonishing 33 years ago.
It had initially vanished in the spring storms of 1984 after waves washed away all the sand, leaving behind nothing more than rock pools.
Speaking at the time, Molloy said: “Before it disappeared, the beach had been there for as long as living memory, almost continuously, until 1984-85.”
“During that time there were some big storms that really destroyed the beach and it was completely washed away and 1984 was the last time the beach was there.”
“Then in April when we had that cold snap over Easter, the wind was coming in from the north.”
“It was very constant and steady and it must have transported eroded material in from elsewhere.”
Molloy said the bulk of the sand was deposited in just over a week, leaving locals delighted.
“It’s so nice for the villagers to have their beach back,” he said.
“It is an incredible example of the force and power of nature and how the coast can change in a matter of days.”
This article originally appeared on nypost.com