Step Into A Day In The Lives Of The Young Couple Who Moved To The Remote Irish Island With No Electricity, Wi-Fi, Or Water!


A Young Couple Won A Viral Contest To Live In An Island For Free But Without Electricity Or Hot Water FI

Last year, Annie Birney and Eoin Boyle, a young couple based in Dublin, signed up for a very rare opportunity. They were selected to become the caretakers of a cafe on Great Blasket Island. It is literally a remote and uninhabited island in Ireland. 

Great Blasket’s tourism center had tweeted about a job opening looking for 2 people to manage a coffee shop and accommodations on the Island. And they got the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

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Annie Birney and Eoin Boyle

What’s so great about the island?

The island was once home to a modest population but it has been uninhabited since 1953. It was considered unsafe due to the extreme weather conditions.

It is so remote that the cottages have no electricity, TV, and Wi-Fi. (That also means, no hot water) But since this island is so cut off from modern life – one can truly be able to enjoy the tranquility and peace it offers.

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Annie Birney and Eoin Boyle

Also, this island boasts some of the best sunrises and sunsets in Ireland. It is known for its wildlife, nature, and hilly terrain, and has links to Irish folklore and literature.

Also, it’s a home to grey seals who migrate there during late summer. (Sounds, perfect, doesn’t it?)

The Great Blasket beach

The Great Blasket Island

So, how did they get selected?

When the tourism center posted the job offer, it went viral and within days, they ended up getting attention from all over the world. They received over 50,000 applications! 

But Birney and Boyle did something different from the rest of the applicants. They sent in a handwritten letter and photograph of themselves. Amidst the deluge of emails, their application stood out.

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The Great Blasket Island

On Valentine’s Day, they received a call from Hayes (the one managing the tourism center) telling them the job was theirs if they wanted it. 

“She said, “Do you want a little while to have a think about it?’” recalled Boyle. “I’d say we thought about it for all of ten or fifteen seconds before we said, ‘Yes, we’ll do it!‘” 

What happened next?

After the call, they made quite a few changes in their lives. They quit their jobs, gave up their apartment, and were all ready to go. All was going well until the pandemic struck. 

By late March, only essential journeys were allowed and people were forbidden from traveling more than a mile. And like others, they were a bit shocked and unsure.

Annie Birney and Eoin Boyle

Annie Birney and Eoin Boyle

It was a bit of a shock,” Birney told Insider. “All of a sudden, we didn’t know where we’d be living or where we’d be working.

But after few months, the restrictions eased and they were able to move to the island in June. But that’s not to say it hadn’t come without its challenges.

How was life on the island like?

They would start their day at 9 a.m. They prepared the cottages for guests. At 2, they would meet and welcome guests, take them to their accommodation, and collect any essential items they needed from the pier.

Once the day got quieter, Birney and Boyle took time to unwind by taking a hike, going for a swim, or relaxing with a cup of tea while enjoying the scenery.

enjoying tea

Annie Birney and Eoin Boyle

But it also meant living without any comforts. They had to complete all the work during day time as there was no electricity. And oh, it also meant – no modern equipment that needed electricity to run! So, no refrigerator, no television, or laptop. Yup! It can get real tough within one week. (And no hot water, yikes!)

“The one big thing we miss would be the fridge,” Boyle said. “It took us a while to get the hang of how to keep food fresh. We’ve figured out that we can usually get two days out of milk before our next delivery.”

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Annie Birney and Eoin Boyle

Birney said: “Several times when we’ve sat down to dinners here we’ve thought about the people who lived here all year round, and who depended on the land and the sea for their food. They must have incredible skills.”

But wait; there’s more

I like just leaning on the half-door and looking out,” says Boyle. “The view from the front door would be one of my favorite things. You don’t stop seeing it. The clouds have moved or the light is different and the sea, there’s always something new to look at.”

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Annie Birney and Eoin Boyle

For Birney, it was the sound. “Just having the sound of the sea constantly in your ears, there’s something incredible about that. And hearing the seals howling in the night, I don’t think I’ll ever forget that. It’s just the most amazing and the most lonely sound coming up from the strand, An Trá Bán.”

It also taught them to live in the moment and appreciate all the little things that have in their lives. And all it took was filling out an application form to gain an experience of a lifetime.

It’s been some experience,” says Eoin. “It’s fantastic.”

Check out their pictures –

What are your thoughts? Would you like to stay there?

Also read: This Remote Island Is Looking For 2 Friends To Run A Coffee Shop And Live There For Free

An Introvert’s Paradise – ‘World’s Loneliest House’ Has Been Empty For More Than 100 Years