However, it wouldn’t be John McManus’s first ill-conceived idea.
The unemployed hotel worker once touted his services as a sperm donor with a mission to impregnate women desperate for a baby by making personal deliveries in hotel sex sessions.
McManus, 36, advertised in September for a “wife/companion” to join him on Inishfree off the Donegal coast. His plan was to go to the isolated island in January and spend 12 months living off the rugged land, making do with little, maybe falling in love, and writing a book.
He was inspired by Gerald Kingsland, whose island adventures with a partner found via an ad were chr-onicled in 1980s book and film Castaway.
While McManus’s ad on gumtree.ie attracted thousands of queries, the response might have been different if his previous ventures had been revealed. The London-born Irishman, based in Co Leitrim, once advertised himself as a faith healer and as a “wizard seeking witches to join my coven”.
Regarding his sperm donor plan, in 2010 he said he was just trying to help infertile couples who could not afford IVF and offered “practice runs” in a hotel before his client reached ovulation.
He admitted defeat in his island companion search just before Christmas, saying he could not find anybody suitable who could commit for a full year and wasn’t planning to go alone.
Asked about the wisdom and motives behind his sperm donor escapade — and whether his search for an island companion should be viewed differently in light of his past activities, he politely declined to comment and hung up.