At least 21 people from Ireland are now known to have applied to work in the worlds most southerly and possibly coldest post office.
The United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust (UKAHT) has however received over 2,000 applications for the four positions on Goudier Island off the Antarctic Peninsula where there is no running water, mains power and only limited communications.
One known applicant from Ireland is Anthony Galvin, an author, magician and children’s entertainer who has spent up to six weeks every year for the past two decades working in Arctic Finland.
It’s now emerged that Clareman Galvin, who now lives in Cork, is one of 21 Irish hopefuls who have applied for the €400 a week jobs with UKAHT describing the interest in the posts as “unprecedented and overwhelming.”
In 2014 there were 170 applications for the same seasonal positions, up from just 82 the previous year.
This year has seen interest and subsequent applications reach new heights with over 2000 people from over 75 countries making submissions.
“The UK led the way with 481 applicants, followed by the US with 182. Applications from Australia also ranked highly, with 46 individuals submitting their details and applications have also been received from as far afield as Taiwan, Uganda and Peru,” the spokeswoman said.
She added: ‘At the last count we had 21 applications from Ireland but we don’t have a final figure yet.”
UKAHT Chief Executive Camilla Nichol said: “We are delighted that our work in Antarctica has stimulated so much interest from around the world. We have a key role to play in this strategically important region, ensuring that both the natural and historical environment is preserved for the benefit of all.”
“Those chosen to fill these roles are there to engage and inspire people of all ages with the history of human endeavour in Antarctica and as such our successful candidates must themselves be passionate about Antarctica’s past, present and future,” Ms Nichol added.
The team that will spend the 2015/16 season at Port Lockroy will assist the Base Leader in the efficient running of the post office, maintenance and museum operation.
About 18,000 people visit the tiny gentoo penguin colony each Antarctic summer amounting to two ship visits per day. Around 70,000 cards are posted each year to over 100 countries usually taking between 2 and 6 weeks to arrive.