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Blasket Island: 23,000 people apply for two summer jobs

Great Blasket Island Image copyright Lesley Kehoe
Image caption Great Blasket is the principal island of the Blaskets, County Kerry, off the west coast of Ireland

A couple have received over 23,000 applications for two summer vacancies on the remote Great Blasket Island, County Kerry.

Alice Hayes and her partner, Billy O'Connor, posted the vacancies on social media and were inundated with responses from around the world.

Two successful candidates will run a small café and three cottages from April to October.

The pair will live together for six months without many modern comforts.

Image copyright RTÉ
Image caption The couple told RTÉ they have received applications from Iran, Argentina, Finland and Mexico

Speaking to RTÉ, the couple said: "It's been unbelievable. We were worried we wouldn't get anyone.

"We had a lot of interest last week but in the last few days it's been mad."

The couple told the Irish broadcaster they received applications from countries such as Iran, Argentina, Finland and Mexico.

"Our email is in meltdown and our phones are just pinging constantly," Ms Hayes said.

'No home comforts'

Lesley Kehoe and her partner Gordon Bond lived and worked on the island as caretakers from April to October in 2019.

Ms Kehoe told BBC News NI that living on the island was "serene" and island life soon became "their version of normal".

Image copyright Lesley Kehoe
Image caption Ms Kehoe said they had to bathe using freezing cold water from a mountain stream

"We were the only permanent residents. People would come and visit, but no longer than two days or a week max," she said.

'Quickest shower in your life'

The couple had to bathe using freezing water from a mountain stream.

"It would be the quickest shower in your life and you were definitely awake after," Ms Kehoe said.

Image copyright Lesley Kehoe
Image caption The couple said living on the isolated island was a good test of their relationship

The job is open to couples or best friends and Lesley said that any prospective islanders should make sure "they bring the person they get on with most in the world".

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