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You could get paid over €80,000 to move to an Irish island

Ireland’s ‘Our Living Islands’ policy aims to revive the country’s island communities

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham

Fancy leaving city life behind and opting for something a little more... isolated? We might have just the thing. Ireland’s government has announced a scheme that could see people paid over €80,000 (£68,700, $86,400) to move to one of the country’s remote islands.

The incentive is part of something called the ‘Our Living Islands’ policy, which is the Irish government’s attempt to try to convince more people to move to the country’s offshore communities. In total, the scheme covers 23 islands that aren’t connected to the mainland via either bridges or low tides.  

So where does the money come in? Well, it isn’t quite as easy as simply moving to an island and getting a fat cheque. Given in the form of a grant, the cash is specifically intended to help restore vacant and dilapidated properties.

In other words, there are quite a few catches to making the most of the ‘Our Living Islands’ scheme. Not only must you own a property on one of the islands, but it needs to have been built before 1993 and have been vacant for at least two years. There are also very specific things that the money can be used for, such as insulation, redecoration and structural improvement. 

The scheme is an extension of a policy that already exists on mainland Ireland called ‘Croí Cónaithe’. The grant sizes are bigger with ‘Our Living Islands’ simply because renovation costs on islands, thanks to poorer infrastructure, are presumed to be higher. However, if you and your property tick all the right boxes, you could get up to €84,000 (£72,100, $90,700) towards the renovation. Which ain’t too bad at all, eh?

‘Our Living Islands’ policy goes far beyond grants to home renovators. The wider scheme also aims to improve infrastructure, as well as provide better healthcare, education and broadband coverage over the next three years.

The policy officially comes into effect on July 1 and eligibility varies with each local authority. Find out more about the ‘Our Living Islands’ scheme here. After somewhere a bit warmer and drier? Fear not, this Spanish town is also paying people to move there.

Did you see that this is officially the friendliest city in Europe?

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