Brit couple say they've avoided Covid pandemic by moving to tiny island with no electricity or running water

A BRITISH couple have said they avoided the coronavirus pandemic by moving to a tiny island just days before the UK went into lockdown.

Luke and Sarah Flanagan moved to Owey Island off the west coast of County Donegal in Ireland on March 14 last year – about one week before coronavirus restrictions were introduced.

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The pair wanted to enjoy a slower pace of life – and had no idea of what they were going to avoid by moving to the island.

After moving to Owey Island, Luke, 34, and Sarah, 36, managed to remain isolated and completely avoid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The couple, originally from Leeds, West Yorkshire, were living in the Scottish Highlands when they saw an advert online offering the opportunity to become tenants of a small cottage – and decided to move there.

Apart from some summer residents, Owey Island – which has no electricity, no gas and no running water – is deserted for most of the year.

Luke thinks the homeowner wanted to prove it is possible to spend an entire winter season on Owey, hoping others will do the same in the future.

On the island, Sarah and Luke catch fish, have hens for eggs and grow their own vegetables.


Over summer, they used a dinghy to reach the nearest mainland – which is about three quarters of a mile from Owey Island – and stock up on food for winter.

The pair say their experience on the island has been “incredible” and they have “loved it”.

Sarah, a social worker, said: “I speak to my mum in Leeds and we can’t believe what’s going on, it’s like we’re living in different worlds.

“We got to the island on around March 14, so literally a week before lockdown, and so far we have missed all of the Covid madness.

“We’re living in a little cottage with a coal fire using coal we stocked up on over the summer, we use a tank to collect rainwater, we cook using big gas bottles which we also stocked up on in the summer months and we have solar panels which we attach to our car battery to charge throughout the day before we charge our phones.”

The couple have said they wash themselves and their clothes with rainwater they collect.

Their two rescue dogs live with Luke and Sarah on the island.

Sarah said they have good 4G internet connection even if there is no wifi on Owey Island.

Luke, who works as a joiner, said: “It’s been really weird and strange hearing about everything that’s happening while being isolated on this little island.

“As you can imagine, we haven’t had to worry about social distancing.

“The experience as a whole has been incredible.

“The pace of life is so slow but it’s lovely, we spend our days out walking with the dogs, growing our own food and learning new skills.

“It’s not for everyone but we have loved it.”

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