Sign Up For A Caretaking Job On A Remote Island This Summer

Every year, caretakers are needed to help preserve the region on Ireland's Great Blasket Islands during the busy summer season
The stunning landscape of Great Blasket Island
The stunning landscape of Great Blasket Island Hedvika Michnova/Shutterstock

Here's an idea to take your summer vacation plans to the next level. How about looking after a remote island in the Atlantic Ocean? The Great Blasket Islands are located on the southwestern tip of Ireland, on the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry. The landscape is dotted with stone-walled meadows and a smattering of cottages, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. Every year, the Great Blasket Island requests two caretakers to assist in the upkeep of the territory during the busy summer season. This year, they are looking for a responsible couple to take care of a coffee shop and holiday lodgings.

About The Job

Alice Hayes and Billy O'Connor, owners of four island-based self-catering cottages and a quaint coffee shop, recruit two caretakers to manage their properties for a few months every year. In their website announcement, they highlight the need for a hardworking and responsible duo with excellent people skills and initiative. Your job will be to manage the Great Blasket Island coffee shop and four vacation villas. This includes meeting and greeting overnight guests, offering tea and coffee to day visitors, and overseeing the day-to-day operations.

The ad for the caretaker positions cautions that this is not a vacation job because the season may be very busy and you will be on your feet for the majority of the day. The position includes all meals and lodging in addition to the salary you receive. You will sleep in a bedroom above the coffee shop and use the coffee shop's kitchen and restrooms (all of which are located in the same building). The island isn't equipped with Wi-Fi or electricity.

The position is available from April 1 to October 1 (weather permitting). If the weather cooperates in the last week of March, the authorities will try to get carers out a week before the season begins to settle in. When the Great Blasket Island shared a vacancy for the unconventional job in 2020 via its Facebook account, it received over 42,000 applications from individuals across the world.

Interested? Check here for more details.

About The Islands

The words of Irish poet and philosopher John O'Donohue perfectly characterise this area of Ireland: "There is a curvature of the landscape, a colour and shape that constantly frustrates the eye anxious for symmetry or linear simplicity." Spanning over four miles, the island is home to an extensive range of plants, wildlife, sea life, and ancient ruins. The islands can be reached by ferry from the Dunquin Pier, which is accessed by walking down a steep, winding slipway.

Several writers visited the Great Blasket Islands in the early twentieth century to learn Irish and collect folklore. They encouraged islanders to write their life tales in their original tongue, and the volumes they produced provide a unique perspective on the hardships of island life. An tOileánach (The Islandman) by Tomás Criomhthain, Peig by Peig Sayers, and Fiche Blian ag Fás (Twenty Years A-Growing) by Muiris Silleabháin are the three most well-known Island books. Read more about the writers and the books here.

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