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Dooega Beach

Dooega Beach...

Dooega beach is a small coastal inlet situated on the south western limb of Achill Island.  The island is built almost entirely on highly folded Dalradian quartzites and schists. Dalradian means a series of metamorphic rocks while schist is defined as a metamorphic crystalline rock that is made up of many layers. The word ‘schist’ comes from the ancient Greek word for ‘split’. The underlying geology of Dooega village comprises of a dipping layer of Dalradian schists whilst Dooega Head lying to the east of the village is built of quartzite. 

Dooega valley, sheltered by the North East – South West sloping Mweelin ridge in the west, holds level land for farming and settlement in comparison to the opposite shore where the coastal lowland is narrow and constricted between the hills and rocky headlands. The Dooega river runs out to Camport Bay.

Keel Machair/Minaun Cliffs SAC

This beach lies within the Keel Machair/Minaun Cliffs Special Area of Conservation (SAC).  This site extends between the villages of Keel and Dooega.  The northern part of the site consists of a low-lying flat coastal grassland of machair, which is backed by Keel Lough.  South-east of the machair the ground rises steeply to 466 metres, and the shoreline changes from a flat, sandy beach to impressive sea-cliffs. 

The slopes of Minaun are covered by thin peat eroded in laces down to mineral soil and rock.  Because quartzite is so dense and resistant to both physical and chemical weathering, it is poor bedrock on which to form soil. Extensive areas of heath and some blanket bog occur here.  The heath vegetation of Minaun is unusual for its community of mosses and liverworts known as ‘The Northern Atlantic Hepatic Mat community’.

This ‘community’ descends to its lowest altitudinal level in this country on Achill Island.  On the sea cliffs around Minaun, the damp rocks and crevices also support rich communities of mosses and liverworts. Cyclodictyon laetenvirens (bright green cave moss) is the only European member of a largely tropical genus. It is bright green in colour, forming rough mats with regularly branched shoots up to 8cm long. Philonotis rigida (rigid apple moss) has shoots that form dense brownish green tufts up to about 1cm tall with numerous long rhizoids on the stem.

Plant life such as Red Fescue, Ribwort Plantain, Buck’s-horn Plantain, Common Bird’s foot Trefoil, Lady’s Bedstraw and Common Mouse-ear are also found.


 Foot Trefoil   ‎Ladys Bedstraw

 Common Birds - Foot Trefoil         Lady's Bedstraw


 Waders such as the Snipe, Lapwing and Oystercatcher are frequently spotted in this area.





The Gull family is well represented with the Common Gull, Kittiwake, Blackheaded Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull and Herring Gull all visitors to the beach.

 Lesser Black Backed Gull

Lesser Black Backed Gull

Terns are also sighted with the Arctic Tern, Common Tern and Sandwich Tern being the most commonly noted.

Cormorants and Shags have also been spotted.


Arctic TernArctic TernSandwich Tern‎Sandwich Tern








Dooega Beach Legend Map (Document)

Dooega Beach Legend Map
Formats Available:

Cycle Routes - Achill

Cycle Routes in Achill taking in Dugort, Golden Strand, Keem and Dooega Beach

Cycle Routes - Achill-read the full story.

Posted: 07/03/2013

Mayo Beaches

Environment Section
Second Floor
Mayo County Council
The Mall
Co Mayo
Phone: (094) 9024444
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