If the slower pace and self-reliance that comes with island living is calling your name, Ireland may have the perfect opportunity for you. The country is looking for people willing to move and help revitalize 30 or so rural islands off the western coast – and will help pay for it.
On July 1, the government will start offering $92,000 in funding to those who want to refurbish “derelict properties” into their permanent home or a rental home to meet demand for housing on the islands as part of a three-year action plan called Our Living Islands.
“As a result of delivering this policy, we will see more people living on the islands and more people working on our islands, with good career prospects, regardless of where their employer is headquartered,” Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys said in a statement. “And we will see our island communities, and especially young people, having an active role in shaping the future for their own islands.”
The islands on offer include Inishturk, Dursey, Clare Island and the Aran Islands.
Called the Croí Cónaithe, the measure aims to “revitalize population levels on the islands” as they’ve been slowly declining over the years. It’s an already existing measure but the grant amount this time around is up by 20% from $55,000.
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Our Living Islands seeks to preserve and empower Ireland’s 80 island communities for generations to come through measures such as better access to health clinics, tourism marketing and improved infrastructure.
“Our Living Islands is the Irish government’s ambitious new 10-year policy designed to support vibrant and sustainable island communities around the coast of Ireland,” Céimin Burke, spokesperson for the Department of Rural and Community Development, told USA TODAY in an email.
Vacant Home Officers are scouting out potential properties on the island, according to the plan.
Living on one of these Irish islands means adjusting to the lifestyle, which includes being cut off from the mainland on a daily basis when the tides roll in. About 3,000 people live on the islands, which are along the coasts of counties like Cork and Mayo.
Kathleen Wong is a travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Hawaii. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org