I have been a naturist for as long as I can remember and my earliest memories are a long time ago. My family lived in Donegal for a number of years when I was little and in summer we would spend the days on the sands of Donegal Bay.
When the tide was out the bay would empty leaving a vast area of sand and many channels. These channels were shallow and had lots of flat-fish. I remember walking the channels with my dad in the nude trying to catch these fish. My parents had a caravan and I have great memories of lots of beach holidays. Looking back the weather seems to have always been lovely and sunny then!! And I would spend hours exploring the sand-hills and beaches we visited – clothes free of course.
In my teens my parents used to take a house in Inch, Co. Kerry for holidays each year and there in true naturist fashion we would spend the days roaming the vast beach and sand hills. This was in the days before Inch Strand was recognised as Ireland’s premier naturist beach.
In later years, when I had a family of my own, we camped mostly and would take to France on holiday most years. There we would enjoy the freedom of the beaches of the French Atlantic coast. Here we discovered a more relaxed environment and not as in Ireland on the constant look-out for ‘textiles’ wandering into our space and having to don a towel when strangers approached. The French freedom was really invigorating and relaxing.
It is my hope and dream that this relaxed atmosphere will someday be the norm in Ireland and that we will be free to be clothed or unclothed as we please and when we please.