A British couple have this week said an emotional goodbye to an uninhabited Donegal island, after spending almost a year there, and managing to escape the Covid-19 pandemic.
Luke (34) and Sarah (36) Flanagan moved to beautiful Owey Island, just off Kincasslagh, on March 14, just two days before the UK went into lockdown.
The couple had no idea about the impending pandemic and say the purpose of their stay on the 300 acre rocky outcrop was simply to take 12 months out to enjoy a slower pace of life.
The island has no electricity or running water and is only partially inhabited during the summer months.
While taking scenic walks, going fishing and tending to their homegrown crops, Luke and Sarah have easily managed to remain isolated and keep themselves clear of Covid-19.
However, this week they, and their dogs, said an emotional goodbye to Owey and the former islanders who have become their close friends.
In a posting on the Owey Island Facebook page, Sarah said their ‘almost year’ had sadly come to an end.
“We were escorted through the sound by dolphins which was a perfect end to a perfect year,” she said.
She thanked Charles Gallagher ‘for the lift’ as well as former residents who made them feel at home.
“We just wanted to thank each and every one of the Owey residents for everything you have done for us this year. Without your advice, support and unbelievable kindness, we definitely wouldn’t have made it. You taught us so much and made this the most amazing, surreal and magical year of our lives.”
The couple’s only way off the island, during their stay, was via dinghy around three quarters of a mile to Cruit island, which is connected to the mainland by a bridge.
While there are some houses on Owey they are only inhabited in the summer months and, according to locals, the last time anyone spent the winter there was 1974.
Luke and Sarah are originally from Leeds, West Yorks., but were enjoying life living in the Scottish Highlands when the chance to move to Ireland presented itself.
They noticed an advert online offering the opportunity to become the tenants of a small cottage there and decided the chance was too good to pass up so decided to take a year off from work.
According to Luke, the homeowner wanted to prove it’s possible to spend an entire winter season on Owey in a bid to encourage others to do the same in the future.Tags: