THE PEOPLE who advertised a 'unique position' for a couple or two friends to live on and manage the accommodation on a remote Irish island have received over 23,000 applications for the job.
People from all over the world were more than willing to drop everything and move to Great Blasket Island off the County Kerry coast.
Usually uninhabited, the island draws a number of tourists to its three cottages during the late spring and summer months, and Kerry couple Alice Hayes and Billy O'Connor posted the job opportunity to Twitter to find the perfect people to look after the island.
** Job Vacancy **
A unique position required - looking for long term management of Island Accommodation and Coffee Shop. Couple or two friends.
1st April 2020 - October 2020 accommodation and food provided.
Email Alice on [email protected] for more information pic.twitter.com/RJFfrr4QDH
— Great Blasket Island (@gbisland) January 10, 2020
The couple spoke to RTÉ after the application went viral all around the world, saying they had initially been worried they wouldn't find anyone interested for the job.
"We’ve received applications from places like Iran, Argentina, Finland, Mexico, everywhere really. Our email is in meltdown and our phones are just pinging constantly," Ms Hayes said told RTÉ, adding that some of the applications were written in languages the couple couldn't even recognise.
"I suppose people just want to disconnect from the rush of everyday life and get off the grid. Things are really basic out there. There's no electricity. Cooking is done on gas cookers. Light is provided by candles, heating is a solid fuel stove. There are no creature comforts, no hot showers."
Alice Hayes told the outlet that they had even received some moving "personal stories" from applicants.
"We had a lovely application from a 79-year-old and 83-year-old couple," Ms Hayes said.
The Dingle couple have said that they have so far replied to about 1,000 applications but there is no possible way they'd be able to get through them all-- which stands at 23,000 and still growing-- but they intend to meet some of the potential choices this week.
They warned, however, that whoever is succesful in their application must be mindful of the island's culture and history.
"One of the three cottages we have belonged to Peig Sayers, the great storyteller," they said.
"It’s important that the people working there understand and appreciate the island’s rich literary heritage and history".
If you want to see what the job on Great Blasket looks like, you can read all about it here-- we wrote about the couple, Leslie and Gordon, who had secured last year's islandkeeper position.
Leslie kept a social media diary of her time on the island, posting photos and videos of the Great Blasket in all sorts of weather, including tremendous storms-- but also glorious sunny days.
Another day in paradise. There is nowhere on earth like the Great Blasket pic.twitter.com/GFFY5ECzgu
— Lesley (@island_lesley) July 14, 2019
She also used her platform to educate people on the island's nature and wildlife, as well as the cultural heritage of Great Blasket.
While I'm on the subject of the seals, it's worth mentioning that every single day I watch visitors march up to them, armed with a smartphone and delight as hundreds of seals rush to the water. This is their home, we are only passing through. If you visit, please give them space https://t.co/MQb8HswlDA
— Lesley (@island_lesley) July 22, 2019
Alice Hayes and Billy O'Connor praised the couple's excellent work on the island last year, saying:
"We had a lovely couple working there last year, Leslie and Gordon. They were fantastic and had a genuine appreciation and love for the place. They really took to it."