Celebrating more than 50 years of naturism in Ireland: 1963 - 2016
Organised naturist facilities in Ireland are very limited. and are currently limited to Dublin and Tipperary. We have organised a monthly naturist swim/sauna session in Dublin on the first Saturday of each month from 7.00pm to 8.00pm and a monthly swim/sauna/jacuzzi session in Cahir, Co. Tipperary on the third Saturday of each month from 7.30pm to 9.00pm .
We also organise regular outings, often at short notice, to beaches, lakes and other outdoor areas all over Ireland, weather permitting. We have teamed up on several occasions with naturists in Northern Ireland. We have also gone on day visits to naturist clubs in England.
INA events are open to all INA members, with or without a partner.
Full details of all these events can be found on our Facebook Page,
The 34th Congress of the International Naturist Federation (INF) took place in Drumshanbo Co Leitrim from 11th to 14th September 2014. This is the first time that the Congress was held in Ireland. 34 countries were represented and more than 90 delegates with their partners came from all over the world to be there. The weather gods smiled upon us and we had glorious sunshine for the three days of the Congress.
As well as being an occasion to catch up with old friends the Congress was also the General Meeting of the INF and just like many AGMs a lot of routine business had to be undertaken such as approving the accounts and electing a new Committee. The Congress had a theme – Naturist Tourism – and Eamonn Scully, on behalf of the INA as the host organization, gave a short presentation. Eamonn said that naturist tourism was big business in Europe. For example in France it was worth €300 million to the France economy. As long as naturism remained technically illegal in Ireland we were locking ourselves out of a growing tourist market. We are not suggesting that naturist visitors would flock to Ireland if naturism was legalised here but even a small number of additional naturist tourists would make a difference to the economy. Fáilte Ireland, who supported the INA in our successful effort to bring the Congress to Ireland, also made a presentation.
The ordinary business of the Congress then got underway with a discussion on finances. The Treasurer’s report, showing that the INF in 2013 had income of €207,000, expenses of €172,000 and reserves of €371,000. The President of the INF’s Law Commission then gave his report. In answer to questions on whether naturism could be recognised as a human right and enshrined in European law, he said that it would be very difficult as a positive vote of the European Parliament would be required and we would need to have powerful lobbyists to achieve this. However the Commission could support individual national federations such as the INA where the practice of naturism caused legal difficulties in their countries.
The various motions submitted by the various national federations were then discussed and voted on. Some of the motions related to technical amendments of the wording of the INF’s Statutes and internal regulations. British Naturism (BN) proposed that “protection against threats to naturism” be added to the aims and goals of the INF. This was passed unanimously. The INA proposed that the phrase “and opposes anything that can cause harm, especially the abuse of nicotine and alcohol” be deleted from the INF’s statutes as we felt that it was outmoded. After a lively discussion the motion was defeated.
The Croatian Federation proposed a motion that would require all visitors to all naturist holiday centres to have an INF card. There was a broad discussion on this but the motion was unanimously defeated because the INF has no power to compel holiday centres to require INF cards. Many do, but there are problems with some Centres, particularly in Croatia.
The Hungarian Federation proposed that the INF draw up a code of etiquette which could be issued to clubs holiday centres to be incorporated into their rules. After a discussion the motion was withdrawn as it is already incorporated into the INF’s Working Plan (see separate document).
The Spanish Federation proposed that the INF allocate a budget of €20,000 per year for legal issues. There was a lively discussion on this topic with many of the Federations giving examples of court cases that they had taken to protect naturist facilities in their own countries. The INA said that they supported the motion in cases where legal proceedings were necessary. BN told how they had threatened a judicial review which they could not have afforded to proceed with. Fortunately the other side backed down. The Dutch Federation spent €40,000 to protect a long established beach after the local mayor threatened to close it. The INF Treasurer said he had no problem with the principle of helping national federations but that for reasons to do with the way that the INF organised their tax affairs in Austria a separate annual budget of €20,000, which could not be used for any other purpose, was not possible. The motion was defeated but the INF said that they would continue to support national federations where necessary.
The Brazilian Federation proposed that Spanish be adopted as an additional official language of the INF, in addition to English, French and German. Following a discussion the motion was withdrawn and it was agreed that parts of the INF website and some publicity material would be translated into Spanish.
Following an excellent presentation by the New Zealand Naturist Federation it was decided that the next INF Congress in 2016 will be held in the Wellington Naturist Club, New Zealand.
The election of the INF Committee then took place. The term of the President, Siegliende Ivo from Austria is not up until 2016 but the Vice President’s term was up. There were two candidates, the incumbent Mick Ayres and Jean Peters. The election was won by Jean. Mick was given a well deserved and prolonged standing ovation for his sterling work over the years. He was a good friend of the INA throughout his term of office and we will miss him.
Shortly before the Congress concluded Senator Paschal Mooney arrived and asked if he could address the meeting. He gave a short speech, welcomed all the delegates and friends to his home town and wished us all well.
The Congress then concluded with closing remarks from the delegates. There was unanimous praise for the way that the Congress had been organised by the Conference organisers Abbey Tours who gave a highly professional service, for the warmth and friendliness of the welcome given by the INA and its members to all the delegates, for the management and staff of the Lough Allen Spa Hotel for the superb job that they did in making the Congress such a success. The INF President concluded by paying special tribute to Pat & Mary Gallagher who had put so much work into bringing the Congress to Ireland but who unfortunately were not able to attend due to illness.
We rounded off the Congress in naturist style. The Hotel’s manager, Neal McManus, is also a member of the local fire brigade. He arranged to have a fire engine come and do a “nude fire hose challenge” in aid of Motor Neurone disease. Almost 30 delegates and visitors were drenched by the freezing water of the fire hoses to the great delight of a large group of onlookers.
The Congress was a huge success in every way and we gained a large amount of of very favourable publicity which can only benefit naturism in Ireland in the years to come.
We are very grateful for the support and encouragement of Fáilte Ireland, the Irish National Tourism Development Authority. Without their help the Congress could not have been held in Ireland.