Welcome to Doogort, one of the Blue Flag Beaches along the County Mayo coastline. This beach is located approx. 3 Kilometres east of Doogort village in Achill Island.
Some of the more common birds that can b seen at the beach include:
The Croaghaun/Slivemore site is located on the north western side of Achill Island. The site is mainly composed of the two mountains, Slievemore and Croaghaun, both over 700m in height. Most of the terrain is hilly, unenclosed blanket bog and heath. Much of the lower slopes of the hills are heavily grazed by sheep and are eroded down to mineral soil. Exposed rock and scree occur on the sea cliffs on the western side o Croaghaun, gullies on the eastern side of Slievemore, and around a number of Corrie lakes. Small areas of sand dune and machair are found at Doogort and Keem Strand.
The mountain heath and bog vegetation is of particular importance for their communities of oceanic bryophotes (mosses and liverworts), particularly the North Atlantic Hepatic Mat community which descends on Achill to its lowest altitude in Ireland. As well as the typical species for this community, a number of varieties are found – including Adelanthus lindengergianns, Bazzania pearsonnii, Mastigophra woodsii, Dicranodomtium uncinatum and Scapania nimbosa. Other notable bryophtes are found on the scree slopes, rocky gullies and corrie lakes of Ooghnadirka, Lough Nakeeroge and Loughs Bunafreva – such as Cyclodictyon laeteveirnes, Geocalyx graveloens, Anthelia juratskana, Radula carringtonii, Marsupella sprucei and M. spacelata. The area north of Keem Strand is also of interest geologically and is well known for its amethyst.
On the Western seaboard, low, flat windswept sand plains known as Machair are found. Machair consists of a mixture of siliceous sand derived from glacial tills and sediments and calcareous sand derived from the shells of animals which lived on the offshore platform. Machair beaches are often found between rocky outcrops or in small bays between headlands. The upper limit of the beach is usually marked by a pebble or cobble ridge behind which there are dunes.
Behind the dunes is usually a gently sloping plain whose degree of flatness is a reflection of age. The level of the machair plain is controlled by the underlying water table. Hence many machair areas are flooded during winter table. A seaward escarpment marks the landward limit of the plain.
Machair is a completely vegetation covered coastal plain, marram and lyme grass being the most common varieties found. Orchids can be found in some locations.
Grazing has an important role in machair formation and keeps the characteristic plant community in balance.
In the Nineteenth Century, Achill Island was noted for the large number of seals found around it’s coast. The seal caves at Doogort were home to a particularly large colony. Towards the latter half of the century, their numbers began to drop significantly. At the time, many of the islanders attributed their decline to the introduction of the fox to the island and the new bridge at Achill Sound but it is most likely that their decline is due to the large numbers of hunters that came to the island to hunt the seals for sport during the late nineteenth century. Today, seals can occasionally be seen in the waters around the island.
This Protestant colony was established in 1831 close to the old village of Doogort by Edward Nangle, a young Church of Ireland minister. His purpose was to win over the Roman Catholic population of the island to the Protestant faith. This mission was unique insofar as it was the first ever established among the native Irish using the Irish language. In 1832, 130 acres of rough mountain land were leased and by 1835 the colony had grown and prospered. A printing house was set up in the same year and for many years, a steady flow of literature from the colony brought great public recognition and financial support from the rest of the Protestant world. The Mission established schools on the island causing tension between the established Roman Catholic clergy and the colony. The colony was supported by public subscriptions from England and Ireland and by 1842, the colony had it’s own corn mill, kiln, grain stores, general hardware shop, several large dwelling houses for the clergymen, a hotel and thirty thatched cottages. By 1851, the mission owned three-fifths of the island.
During the years of the Great Famine in Ireland (1845-1848), tensions on the island grew as the missionaries were accused of using the crisis to proselytise the starving islanders. However there is every indication that the mission did everything in it’s power to relieve distress among Catholics and Protestants alike. During the 1880s, the tide of emigration, combined with financial difficulties led to the demise of the Achill Mission.
If you would like to research further information, for example, on tourist attractions or activities within the area, find some useful links below:
www.met.ie (For up to date weather forecast)
Mayo County Council
Phone: (094) 9047440
9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Doogort Beach Legend Map