Achill Expo 2017: Monday 17th April

Following the success of Expo Achill last year, Achill Tourism is delighted to announce that Expo Achill 17 will once again take place on Easter Monday, 17th April. This year’s exhibition will take place at the new Achill Island Brewery in Bunnacurry. The exhibition will be open from 12 noon to 4pm and will be showing off the very best that Achill has to offer.

Admission is free to the public.

Scroll down for location map.

Local businesses, community groups and individuals who wish to become exhibitors should contact Achill Tourism on 098 20400 or email

Achill Expo 2017


Achill's New Beach - Dooagh Beach Born Again

Achill Island has a new beach for 2017! For the first time since 1984, an extensive sandy beach has returned to Dooagh Bay. Just in time for the start of the summer season, the ocean has deposited thousands of tons of sand onto the formerly rocky ‘beach’. Now that the high Spring Tides have passed, it is expected that the new sandy beach will remain in place for summer 2017. The amazing reappearing beach has been reported worldwide, including the BBC, ITV and CNN. Scroll down for links to full stories, images and video.

Why beaches lose their sand – and then suddenly reappear – academic explanation for the magical reappearing beach in Dooagh.

Below: BBC News interviews Emmet Callaghan of Achill Tourism:

About Dooagh

In 1987 the oarsman Don Allum completed the first westward crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, departing St. Johns, Newfoundland and landing in Dooagh Bay 77 days later.

English novelist Graham Greene shared a cottage hideaway in Dooagh with his mistress, the American Catherine Walston, in the 1940s. Greene wrote parts of the novels The Heart of the Matter and The Fallen Idol while in Dooagh.

The headland on the east side of Dooagh Bay, Gob Ellainne, is where the painter Paul Henry stood in 1910 and tore up his return train ticket to London, vowing to stay in Achill: “As I wandered round … and looked down on Dooagh and to the noble cliffs of Achill Head, I felt that here I must stay somehow or another. I would not go any further”.

Achill Island continues to inspire artists and writers. Painter Camille Souter lives and works in Dooagh, and the island has many Galleries and Craft Shops showcasing the work of artists, sculptors and photographers.

Dolphins and basking sharks are regular visitors to Dooagh Bay (see Whale, Dolphin & Shark Watching).

Scoil Acla, one of Ireland’s oldest summer schools, was founded in Dooagh in 1910. Scoil Acla continues to provide tuition and performances in traditional Irish music, culture and arts. The summer 2017 programme runs from 22nd – 29th July.

In 2014 heavy storms exposed a shingle bank at Dooagh Beach which was investigated by archaeologists from the nearby Achill Archaeological Field School and found to contain a pony graveyard dating to the mid-19th century. See Dooagh Pony Graveyard (2014). The Achill Field School is Ireland’s longest-running archaeology field school and offers tours and introductory courses as well as accredited courses for undergraduate students.

In former times, the same spring storms that revealed the beach in 2017 and shingle bank in 2014, would regularly rip seaweed and wrack from the seabed and deposit it onto the beach. On such occasions, a bugle would be sounded to notify villagers and the wrack would be divided to be used as fertilizer in the surrounding fields. Today, seaweed from Achill’s Atlantic waters is used at Achill Seaweed Baths and also as an ingredient in the new Achill beer from Achill Island Brewery. The bugle is now used to signal the start of currach races at the annual Dooagh Day festival.

Achill Island already boasts five Blue Flag beaches plus one more at nearby Mulranny but it is hoped that the pristine sand at Dooagh may become the island’s sixth Blue Flag beach.

Dooagh beach, May 2017
Dooagh’s ‘new’ beach, May 2017 (above)

Dooagh beach before and after
Dooagh beach before and after (above)

Dooagh 'Beach', March 2017
Dooagh beach, March 2017 (above)

Book Launch: My Father's Wake by Kevin Toolis

BAFTA winning film maker, playwright, director and writer Kevin Toolis, whose father hails from Achill, launches his book ‘My Father’s Wake – How the Irish Teach Us to Live, Love and Die’ in Ted’s Bar, Cashel, at 7.30 on Wednesday 25th October 2017.

Kevin Toolis introduces the book:

On a remote Irish island, close to shore, at the bedside of a dying man, in the company of the mná caointe, with the sound of the rosary booming off the ceiling, I felt both the revelation and the burden of My Father’s Wake descend on my shoulders. I saw a way of dealing with death that dwelt amongst us as far back as the fall of Troy, long before the blinding of our Western Death Machine. My task was to help with the remembering.

In my all death hunting, I have been often graced by the kindness, generosity and painful heart-exposed honesty of hundreds of other lives. I hope the words here offered will be a reward for the time vested in a passing stranger and my debt in some measure repaid. Now my work is done. My promise, to the best of my ability, fulfilled and the work of others begun – to judge these words and journeys amongst the living and the dead and act upon them if they so wish.

May you too find in death the same grace I found in my father’s wake.

Kevin Toolis is the writer of My Father’s Wake: How the Irish Teach us to Live, Love and Die.

Toolis is a BAFTA winning film maker, playwright, director and the founder of manyriversfilms.

I have made a number of films on the terrorism in the Middle East that have been nominated for Emmys and won a BAFTA. For more info and to buy any of these films go to Or to watch clips from Kevin’s films go to

Toolis is the author of a classic account of the Irish Troubles Rebel Hearts: Journeys Within the IRA’s Soul, a study of the IRA.

Keem Bay in World's Top 10 Beaches

Keem Bay on Achill Island has been listed among 10 of the world’s most breathtaking beaches, according to the Irish Independent. Taking its place alongside beaches the Seychelles, Tahiti, Big Sur California and other global locations, Keem is the only Irish beach listed in the paper’s Travel Top 10. Travel writer Pól Ó Conghaile says this of Keem: “Framed by cliffs, undeveloped save for an old stone cottage and heaven for snorkelers and sea kayakers, it’s a first impression that lasts a very long time.” He recounts how on his most recent visit he was told by a lifeguard that a sea kayaker had just been paddling with a basking shark.

Full article: 10 of the world’s most breathtaking beaches.

Fisherman's cottage, Keem Bay, Achill Island

Launch of Achill Maritime History Trail

Venue: Ostán Oileán Acla, Achill Sound
Saturday 24th March 2018, from 7pm
Also on display Sunday 25th March, 1pm – 6pm

The launch of the brand new Maritime History Trail is an evening for the public to come and see up close the this new and exciting addition to Achill Island. The 14 new boards will be on display from 19.30 on Sat the 24th and again all day on Sun 24th March before going on permanent display around the island. This new trail promises to be an important and very informative part of Achill Island’s tourism offering. There will be experts in the different fields of the Maritime History Trail on hand to answer any questions you may have. For more info please Contact Achill Tourism.

Rare White Lobster on Display in Achill

White lobster at Achill Experience

A very rare white lobster has gone on display in an Achill aquarium after being caught in local waters. The one-in-a-million lobster was caught recently by fisherman Charlie O’Malley in pots close to Dooagh Bay. In 25 years of fishing, it is the first white lobster Charlie has seen. The ghost lobster has distinctive white colouring, instead of the usual blue, due to the absence of a chemical compound called astaxanthin. The young lobster – it is estimated to be three or four years old – was spared from the dinner table when Charlie delivered it to the Achill Experience, a visitor attraction that includes an aquarium. The as-yet-unnamed lobster is the main attraction at Achill Experience and has gained much media interest including a report on RTE television news.

RTE Report – with video

Achill Experience website

Achill Experience facebook

RTE1 Ryan Tubridy Show - Tuesday 30th May 2017

Achill Island welcomed the RTE Radio 1 Ryan Tubridy Show to Keel on Tuesday 30th May 2017. Ryan and his team were touring Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way for the week. On the day before, he visited Dooagh’s new beach and also went horse riding on Keel beach. The show came live from The Beehive in Keel and Ryan stayed overnight at Bervie guest accommodation, also in Keel. Among the local businesses interviewed on the show was Terence Dever of the Achill Experience and Francois Colossi of Pure Magic Achill.

View photos and videos from Ryan’s visit to Achill on the Ryan Tubridy Show facebook page.

Ryan Tubridy horse riding on Keel beach, Achill
Ryan Tubridy outside Bervie guest accommodation, Keel, Achill Island