Beating 100,000 applicants, a young couple has been chosen as the next caretakers of the Great Blasket Island.
A former Canadian professional hockey player and his yoga teacher partner are the next caretakers of the Great Blasket Island.
This remote island is located off the coast of Kerry. The caretaking position has become the home of one of the most sought after positions in the world.
Brock Montgomery and Claire de Haas are to take up the position of caretakers for Great Blasket Island Accommodation and Coffee Shop this spring.
Who are they? – the island’s next caretakers
Brock Montgomery (29) is originally from Canada but is a former professional ice hockey player with the Texas Stars.
More recently, he played for the German Tilburg Trappers. Brock is now studying meditation and mindfulness in the hopes of working with first responders and athletes.
Claire de Haas (27) is from the Netherlands and now spends much of her time working as a yoga teacher. The couple met four years ago and travelled to Bali to complete their yoga teacher training.
Currently, they live in Portugal, where they run a travel and adventure clothing brand, Mountain Life Apparel.
Landing the role of caretakers of the Great Blasket Island in County Kerry is no easy feat. However, since applying for the first time over two years ago, the couple beat over 100,000 other applicants for the caretaker position.
Usually, the position is advertised each year. However, due to the number of applications over the past few years, the accommodation and coffee shop owners, Alice Hayes and Billy O’Connor, decided to focus on previous applicants.
“They [Brock and Claire] actually applied, I think it was two years ago now, and they’ve kept in touch with us over the past few years letting us know that they were still really keen and really interested in the position.
“Even throughout the seasons just gone, they’d always pop us a message letting us know they were up for it,” said Alice in an interview with The Kerryman.
The role – what the couple can expect
There are no permanent residents on the island. Residents deserted in the 1950s as emergency services could not reach it during storms. There is also no electricity or running water.
The Great Blasket Island caretakers manage the coffee shop and four holiday cottages between the start of April and the start of October. Alongside this, the pair must meet overnight guests and serve tea and coffee to the day visitors.
This often-demanding position comes with food and accommodation provided. The owners will also pay the caretakers a wage.
Follow the adventure – the couple’s excitement
Neither Brock nor Claire has ever been to Ireland, so they are looking forward to the opportunity.
The couple believes they will bring “fun energy, flexibility, a positive vibe to the island along with enjoying hosting people and our own life experiences”.
With the arrival of the new caretakers, Great Blasket Island plans to be open to visitors from 1 April.