Americans and Australians who want to get away from the hectic hustle and bustle and the increasingly expensive living costs now have an alternative – a remote island off the coast of mainland Ireland with high-speed internet and affordable housing.
Arranmore sits off the north-west coast of Ireland and boasts a population of just 469 people, though the island hopes to draw in more people with its affordable housing prices.
House-hunters can snag a one-bedroom home starting at $129,000 or they can pay $400,000 for a three-bedroom cottage.
What’s more, the island has recently undergone a digital renaissance of sorts after high-speed broadband was installed across the 22 square kilometers of land last month.
A remote Irish island is offering up cheap housing and fast broadband in a bid to lure more Americans and Australians to its underpopulated mainland (pictured, Arranmore Island)
Arranmore Island sits off the north-west coast of Ireland and boasts a population of 469 people
The map above shows Arranmore just off the coast of County Donegal in northwest Ireland
In an open-letter to Australians, the people of Arranmore said it hoped the internet would be enough to entice more overseas business people
Last month, the island’s residents wrote an open letter to Australians urging them to ditch Oz for the green pastures of Arranmore.
‘Swap brown snakes and great whites for acres of open (and safe!) space. Fed up of overpacked beaches?’ the letter reads.
Arranmore Island is located off the north-west coast of Ireland.
It is just five miles by three miles wide and its shore is lined by rocky cliffs, stretched beaches and sea caves.
According to 2016 data, only 469 people live on the island.
Reliable piped water was only made available across the entire mainland between 1973-1975.
Arranmore was the first offshore island in Ireland to be connected to the electrical grid in 1957.
The island relies mostly on tourism to draw its revenue.
It is twinned with Beaver Island in Lake Michigan.
In the 1800s, families from Arranmore relocated to Beaver island and most of the residents who live there today can trace their roots back to the Irish island.
‘On Arranmore you’ll have secluded beaches all to yourself. The little pubs here don’t have schooners, but they do have Guinness on tap that will blow them out of the water.’
The open letter blamed its dwindling population on generational emigration and widespread hunger.
‘Over the last 150 years, since the famine first hit Ireland, hundreds of our natives have made their way Down Under, in search of new opportunities,’ the letter says.
‘This mass exodus continued year after year. Traditional industries such as fishing and farming just aren’t enough of a draw to keep young people here anymore. It’s been a challenge to keep people here.’
The open letter claimed its digital transformation had put the island on par with other business cities like Sydney and Melbourne.
‘We wanted Aussies to be the first to know that Arranmore Island is now online and officially open for business.
‘We’re online right now if you’d like to chat about a project. In fact, we’re online 24/7 these days. We’ve a lot of catching up to do.’
The open letter even boasts a raft of skilled workers, anywhere from graphic designers to photographers.
Though the island hopes to draw in more people with its affordable housing prices, which range from $129,000 for a one bedroom place to $400,000 for a three-bedroom cottage
‘There’s Jessie, a graphic designer. Neil, a mobile games developer. Matt, an app developer. And Elaine, a photographer. Plus, we’ve a wealth of skilled craftspeople who can manufacturer [sic] to order.’
Now the islanders want to lure Americans as well.
‘Your commute, no matter where you are, will only ever be five minutes,’ the letter reads.
‘You’ll have the best diving in Ireland on your doorstep and seafood to rival the tastiest New England chowder.
‘There are fewer people here than would fit in a couple of Amtrak carriages, but enough musicians and good Irish whiskey to keep the party going well into the night.’
What’s more, the island has recently undergone a digital renaissance of sorts after high-speed broadband was installed across the 22 squared kilometres of land last month