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Couple to re-advertise coveted caretaker job at off-the-grid Great Blasket Island


Great Blasket Island, Co Kerry

Great Blasket Island, Co Kerry

Great Blasket Island, Co Kerry

A job vacancy on one of the country’s most iconic islands, which has no hot running water and electricity is up for grabs again.

Last year more than 40,000 applications were made for two summer caretaker jobs on the remote Great Blasket Island, home to the late author and storyteller Peig Sayers, whose writings form part of the Leaving Cert Irish curriculum.

Billy O’Connor and his partner Alice Hayes, who own three cottages and a coffee shop on the island, are to post the vacancies on social media this week.

The couple were inundated with enquiries by phone, email, social mediaand paper applications from around the world and from as far afield as Mexico, Finland and Argentina.

The flood of applications itself prompted international media attention and barely one week after the job was listed, more than 23,000 people had applied.

Located about three miles off the coast of Dingle, Co Kerry, the Great Blasket Island is home to diverse animal, sea and plant life.

“We’ve decided to add some job criteria as last year when we started to receive applications it took us a month just to get through them,” Mr O’Connor said. “It’s absolutely fantastic that so many people want to come here but many didn’t realise what the living conditions are like.”

He added that with the travel restrictions, which are expected to be in place for months to come, he does not think as many interested couples or friends will apply.

He said: “We would like a duo of friends or a couple from abroad to get the jobs eventually as they would have a different perspective to bring but with concerns around Covid-19 that will limit foreign applications, I would think. But maybe they would feel safer on the island as it is very remote.”

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