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Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 31 March, 2020

Over 23,000 people apply for job on the Great Blasket Island

The successful applicants will be in charge of three guest cottages and the coffee shop on the island.

Great Blasket Island
Great Blasket Island
Image: Great Blasket Island/Twitter

OVER 23,000 APPLICATIONS have been received for a job on the Great Blasket Island.

The job runs from April to October and the successful applicants will be in charge of three guest cottages and the coffee shop on the island which is just off Co Kerry.

The whole island – which was home to Peig Sayers, of whom thousands of Leaving Cert students growing got to know for their Irish examination – is 6km long and technically no one lives there permanently but they do get visitors.

The job is for a couple or two friends who are happy to move together.

Manager Billy O’Connor, grandson of the late Peter Callery, a Dingle solicitor whose company once owned most of the Blasket, has said the level of interest has taken him by surprise.

O’Connor, who ferries tours to the island on his boat, The Peig Sayers, has redecorated three houses, including the writer Peig Sayers’ old home.

‘Beyond overwhelmed’ 

A post on the Great Blast Island’s Facebook page said: “We are beyond overwhelmed at the response for the job post for the Great Blasket Island coffee shop and accommodation.

“Posting the advert last year, we were concerned we would not find anyone willing to leave their job, pack their bags and move to a windswept island with no electricity or hot water in the middle of the Atlantic, off the Dingle peninsula for six months of the year.

“To date we have received over 23,000 applications. If only we could get everyone who applied to stay for one night, we’d be fully booked for the next 30 years.”

Occupied from prehistory, the island overlooks the location where a number of the Spanish Armada ships were wrecked. The small farming and fishing community exceeded a population of 150 in the early 20th century, but had dwindled to a small number when the island was vacated in 1953.

The old village above Trá Bán (White Strand) is situated on the northeastern side of the island, facing the mainland and Slea Head.

Last year O’Connor also advertised for the two positions to be filled and they were surprised at the level of interest. This year has been “beyond expectations” with people applying from all around the world including Australia, the US, Greece, the Middle East and Asia.

“A lot of people told us they want to move back to Ireland,” O’Connor said, including Irish people from as far away as Australia.

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Sarah Slater

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