The generous cash grants are being offered as a way of encouraging new residents to Ireland’s offshore communities.
If you’ve ever dreamed about dropping everything and reinventing your life on a remote island, now might be your chance.
Ireland has launched a scheme which will pay generous cash incentives to people who choose to move to one of the nation’s offshore communities.
The initiative is part of the country’s “Our Living Islands” policy, through which the Irish government is aiming to boost the population of Ireland’s islands.
“The aim of this policy is to ensure that sustainable, vibrant communities can continue to live - and thrive - on the offshore islands for many years to come,” the government says.
It sounds like the ideal escape, but there are a few stipulations to be aware of.
How to get paid to move to an island in Ireland
The “Our Living Islands” scheme aids communities on 30 islands not linked to the mainland by bridges and cut off by the tides.
As part of the project, Ireland’s government will pay over €80,000 to new residents of offshore communities.
It’s not a case of moving into a cosy island cottage and getting a bumper bank deposit the next day, however.
The ample cash grants are being offered as a way of rescuing and restoring the growing number of abandoned and dilapidated properties on the islands.
As such, there are a few caveats to receiving the free money.
Prospective residents need to purchase and own a property on one of the islands. The building must have been constructed before 1993 and been vacant for a minimum of two years.
There are also rules regarding the use of the cash once granted. The money can be used for building work such as installing insulation, structural improvements and redecoration.
If you jump through all the hoops, you could be looking at up to €84,000 to save a property from ruin and transform it into the house of your dreams.
The “Our Living Islands” grants are an extension of a scheme already in place on mainland Ireland called “Croí Cónaithe”.
The sums offered for doing up a house on one of Ireland’s islands are higher, however, to cover the increased costs that come with less developed infrastructure.
If you fancy having a go at an isolated life on a wild island, applications will be available from July 1. The islands’ local authorities differ slightly in their eligibility policies so find out more on the “Our Living Islands” website.
The remote escapes you could choose from include Arranmore off the coast of county Donegal, with sweeps of golden sands and craggy cliffs, or Clare Island off the coast of County Mayo, a hiker’s paradise with a resident population of just 160.
Get paid to move to Europe
Several other communities around Europe have launched schemes to entice new residents.
In Italy and Spain particularly, rural towns and villages are using cash incentives to boost their dwindling populations.
The mountain town of Ponga in northwest Spain will pay Brits £2,600 (€2,971) each to relocate there.
The white-washed town of Presicce-Acquarica in the southern Italian region of Puglia will pay new residents up to €30,000 to make the move.