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More than 20,000 applications for Great Blasket Island summer job

Great Blasket Island off the Co Kerry coast

MORE than 23,000 people have applied for two temporary summer jobs on Great Blasket Island off the coast of Co Kerry.

Dingle couple Alice Hayes and Billy O'Connor, who operate a café along with cottage accommodation on the island, posted an ad for the jobs on social media earlier this month.

They are seeking two people to live on the island from April to October and run the small café and three cottages.

Great Blasket once had a population of more than 150 but has been uninhabited since the 1950s.

In recent years it has become an increasingly popular tourist destination, with a small ferry sailing from the mainland several times a day over summer.

Ms Hayes told RTÉ that there had been initial concern nobody would apply but the response in recent days had been "mad", with interest coming as far afield as Iran, Argentina, Finland and Mexico.

Mr O'Connor said many of the applicants were attracted by the island's remoteness and its natural beauty.

News of the job advertisement was picked up by news organisations across the world, including CNN and Fox News in the US.

"We've had coverage in the most unlikeliest places. We've had applications in languages we can't even recognise," Ms Hayes said.

"We've also received some very moving personal stories. We had a lovely application from a 79-year-old and 83-year-old couple."

Around 1,000 applicants have so far received a response but the couple said it will be impossible to get through every email.

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