Great Blasket Island off the coast of County Kerry in Ireland. Picture: Supplied
Great Blasket Island off the coast of County Kerry in Ireland. Picture: Supplied

Looking to take a gap year? Caretaker position for remote Irish island may be for you

By Mwangi Githathu Time of article published Jan 17, 2020

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Cape Town - Looking for somewhere different to spend your gap year or that much needed sabbatical from work? If you can survive off the grid with no electricity, wi-fi or hot showers, look no further than the Great Blasket Island off the coast of County Kerry in Ireland.

The island getaway is in need of two people to manage the island’s accommodation and coffee shop from April until October 2020, and an online job posting has attracted hundreds of applicants from across the globe, including South Africa.

According to the Island’s website, “drinking water is a limited commodity on the Island, so we would appreciate if you brought your own for your use”. As such, the job might appeal to Capetonians in particular as they have recent expertise in water conservation, and to South Africans in general because of experience with load shedding.

The positions are ideally suited for a couple or friends who get along well, according to Alice Hayes who placed the ad online.

Hayes told the Irish broadcaster RTE: “The island is beautiful and idyllic, but it is off the grid so there is no electricity, no wi-fi, and no hot showers.” 

Hayes said, “It’s back to basics – fires, candles, stoves, wildlife and nature. It’s intense and tough but it’s a very unique position.”

The Great Blasket Island – the most westerly point in Europe – is the largest island of a group of islands located 5km off the tip of the Dingle Peninsula, 13km west of Dingle town. In the past few years a number of the houses have been restored and amenities provided for visitors to the island.

Historically the islands were abandoned in 1954 after a decline in population, along with concerns about the difficulty of reaching the island in the event of an emergency.

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