'Our inbox is chocca block' - Deadline sees almost 39,000 apply for Great Blasket Island job

Almost 39,000 people have applied for a job on the Great Blasket Island.

'Our inbox is chocca block' - Deadline sees almost 39,000 apply for Great Blasket Island job

Almost 39,000 people have applied for a job on the Great Blasket Island.

The deadline has now passed for the job which runs from April 1 to October 1. The successful couple or pair will be in charge of three guest cottages and the coffee shop on the island which is just off the Kerry coast.

The whole island, which was home to Peig Sayers, of whom thousands of Leaving Cert students growing up in the 1980s and 90s, got to know for their Irish exam, is 6km long and technically no one lives there permanently but they do get some visitors who need somewhere to stay and eat.

Altogether, 38,738 applications have been received by manager Billy O’Connor, grandson of the late Peter Callery, a Dingle solicitor whose company once owned most of the Blasket.

He said the level of interest has taken him by surprise. He added that he cannot reply to every applicant but thanked everyone for making the effort to make contact

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

A post on their Instagram and 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 wind-swept 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.

"We had planned to email everyone back when our inbox was at 200, and were genuinely amazed it even reached 20. Again, a huge huge thank you to everyone who took time to apply and share or like the post, we can’t explain how much your interest means to us.

So sorry if we haven’t got back to you yet, our inbox is chocca block. Hopefully, we will meet you all sometime over the next 30 years.

One social media user replied: “I'm not surprised!! Me and my husband-to-be have wonderful jobs but when we saw your advertisement even we had a longing to apply. Anyone who has not done at least the tour with you should go. An absolutely amazing day out. Almost magical.”

Occupied from pre-history, 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 the Trá Bán (White Strand) is situated on the north-eastern side of the island, facing the mainland and Slea Head.

Last year Mr 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.

The job vacancies have made news headlines in Australia, Massachusetts in the US and Greece to name but a few.

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

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