The Ireland government has introduced the “Our Living Islands” scheme- a strategy to revitalise the population of more than two dozen remote islands situated in the Atlantic Ocean. They aim to entice potential residents by offering grants of up to $92,000 (₹75.5 lakhs) to individuals who are willing to relocate there.
According to the Irish government’s recent plan, approximately 30 islands off the coast of Ireland have year-round inhabitants who face daily isolation due to tidal conditions. These islands lack a bridge or causeway connecting them to the mainland, and some are home to as few as two residents throughout the year.
“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,” according to the govt. The new initiative will come into effect on July 1.
Over the past two decades, the population of these islands has significantly declined, with fewer than 3,000 individuals currently residing across them. Nevertheless, the islands remain crucial for tourism, attracting over 300,000 visitors annually.
“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,” said Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys.
This initiative draws parallels to Italy’s successful program, where homes in small towns were sold for 1 euro to attract new residents. However, cautionary tales have emerged from individuals who purchased these 1 euro homes, revealing the challenges and high expenses associated with their renovation.