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Remote Irish Island of Arranmore Issues an Open Invitation to America

TravelPulse logo TravelPulse 6/4/2019 Laurie Baratti
a large body of water with a city in the background: Arranmore Island, County Donegal, Ireland © Three Ireland Arranmore Island, County Donegal, Ireland

Arranmore Island (Árainn Mhór in Gaelic) is located five kilometers off the coast of Northwest Ireland in County Donegal, and is part of the magnificent Wild Atlantic Way touring route, where rugged land meets the truly untamed sea.

Last month, the island’s resident population of just 469 inhabitants received its most important advancement in recent history by becoming the recipient of Ireland's first offshore digital hub. Robust, secure, high-speed connectivity has been extended to the island's schools, medical center, a number of local businesses, and community facilities.

As part of a campaign to encourage those who once lived there to return, as well as to tempt newcomers who might be in search of a new lifestyle, the people of Arranmore have collectively issued a letter to America at large, inviting its people to be among the first to connect.

In a world where business has become more globalized than ever before, and in which the ability to work remotely allows for increased flexibility in terms of where people choose to live and raise their families, residents of Arranmore realize that this new development is a real game-changer for their community.

Neil Gallagher, CEO of tech company Caped Koala Studios, explained, "Moving home has always been a dream, but the fundamentals of connectivity for my line of work just made it impossible. The digital hub means people working for tech companies like mine can now work on Arranmore. The set-up is as good as any city in the world, but the view is so much better."

Surprisingly, the local talent already includes graphic designers, games developers, app developers, and photographers, plus a host of artisan craftspeople who make their living on the island.

Having seen its population decimated by emigration over the 150 long years since the infamous Great Famine first hit Ireland, the community is eager to regrow its numbers, and share its warm sense of community, well-preserved Gaelic heritage, and time-honored traditions. Having lost so many of its native sons and daughters who once set off in search of the American Dream, Arranmore is hoping that its unspoiled landscape, along with its traditional sense of family and community, may lure away those who are tired of the hustle-and-bustle of city life.

Adrian Begley of Arranmore Island Community Council, summed up the significance of this development, "For us, this connection is the electrification of the 21st century. It's that big a thing. Whilst the Irish economy is growing, the islands have been neglected; emigration continues and culture gets lost, but we're confident that's all about to change."

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