A COUNTY Limerick woman is set to become the new caretaker of the Great Blasket Island – and her partner in the adventure is a French man.
25 year-old Niamh Kelleher from Kilfinane and her boyfriend Jack Cakehead (24) landed the most unusual summer job overcoming competition from 45,000 applicants.
Her role will be to greet visitors off the boat and take care of An Blascaod Mór’s accommodation, café and gardens. Said Niamh “It’s so exciting. The island is going to be so different to normal life. It’ll be an escape and something different.”
She expects it to be “real work, hard work and we’ll be busy. But it’s the good kind of busy.”
The trade off for the escape to the wild beauty of the island is having to get by without hot water along with unpredictable weather and intermittent electricity supply.
The couple met in France on a ski holiday but haven’t been able to see each other since Christmas and are looking forward to the opportunity the island will give them to be together for six months.
Staff at Niamh’s Alma Matter – Scoil Pol – tweeted her the best of luck. They said “Your Irish teachers are an-bhródúil ar fad! Wishing you both an amazing year! Maith sibh a chairde!”
The island, which was the setting for the iconic folklore biography of Peig Sayers, has attracted thousands of visitors since it was reopened a a visitor centre.
Before that, it was deserted of inhabitants since 1953 because emergency services were unable to reach it in storms.
They hope to take up their new caretaker jobs in May but we won’t be hearing too much from them online, as along with no hot water, there’s no wifi and no television – just the extraordinary wild beauty of an island surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean.