Naturism in Ireland is Alive and Well

Naturism in Ireland is Alive and Well

Ireland is not a country that springs to mind or the imagination when one talks about naturism. So, many might be surprised to learn that there is a thriving naturist organisation in Ireland. One will ask ‘How can this be?’ Ireland, a small mainly Catholic island, in the Atlantic Ocean and the most western fringe of Europe, normally covered in cloud, always raining and wind swept is surely far too cold and wet for any sane person to disrobe and practice naturism.

Nothing could be further from the truth. It might rain a lot and it might be cold on occasions but the same is true of other main centres for naturism worldwide. For example: France, the world’s most popular naturist destination, has been known to experience torrential rain and floods during the holiday season. Scandinavian countries are also a lot colder than Ireland a lot of the time.

Naturism in Ireland has been with us for many centuries. It is recorded that in ancient times the Irish went into battle naked and unashamed and fought furiously. Naturism was officially first introduced in 1963 with the founding of the Irish Naturist Association and in honour of the Association’s 50th years in existence Ireland was given the privilege of hosting the 34th International Naturist Congress in September 2014. Although Irish Law did not permit public nudity at that time the occasion had the full support of the Irish Government and was also supported by the semi-state bodies, the Irish Tourism Board and Fáilte Ireland. This was an enormous boost to the naturist movement in Ireland as for its first fifty years the membership was not great. The Association was very much inclined to ‘keep its head down’ and just enjoy its lifestyle quietly and under the radar. Members frequented a number of beaches around the country but very secluded, mostly on the East coast. Although public nudity was prohibited by law the authorities turned a blind eye and no prosecutions were ever brought against members of the Association. Most Irish people seemed to enjoy the freedom of no clothing whilst on their foreign holidays, in France or Spain. A brief history of the INA is documented on our website at
https://irishnaturism.org/history-of-naturism-in-ireland/  

In the past twenty to thirty years Ireland has become a much more open minded and culturally diverse society. As part of the ongoing liberal attitudes new laws were passed by parliament in 2017 which now make being naked in public no longer illegal or a prosecutable offence. The CRIMINAL LAW (SEXUAL OFFENCES) Act 2017 now states that “A person who exposes his or her genitals intending to cause fear, distress or alarm to another person is guilty of an offence.” Accordingly, for an offence to be committed the person exposing him/herself must intend to cause fear, distress or alarm to another person. In other words being naked in itself is not illegal under this law. The law is now similar to that pertaining in the United Kingdom. However, in Ireland the local Authorities have not erected any signage to indicate that nude persons may be present. This does/could lead to some clothed people being a little alarmed on occasions. Accordingly, INA does advocate that discretion is practiced where one is unsure or where one is requested to ‘cover up’. We have renewed our approaches to local Authorities and are hopeful that progress will be made. We have also met with the police (An Garda Síochána) who have agreed to advise their members that naturism is not illegal. We are committed to bringing legal protection for naturists in Ireland and total clarity for everyone along the lines of the guidance which British police have issued to their members – see here.

In recent years with the changing attitudes and liberalisation many more are accepting of and taking part in naturism in Ireland. Indoor facilities, swimming pools, saunas, Yoga/meditation retreats and other such facilities are accepting our bookings for naked events. Presently there are ten water sports centres where INA/BN and INF members partake in organised swimming, sauna, jacuzzi and steam room events all year round. Naturists also make use of traditional known naturist used beaches and outdoor swimming areas. Currently there are some thirty-three documented beaches in the Republic of Ireland. There are also a number in Northern Ireland and these are documented on the British Naturism website at: https://www.bn.org.uk/activities/placestogo/

That being said, there are very many other secluded beaches and small coves around the coast where, with discretion, one can happily disrobe and enjoy the freedom, sunshine and clear Atlantic and Irish Sea waters on bare skin.

We might not be the best known naturist destination in the world but we are probably the best! Come and see!

One thought on “Naturism in Ireland is Alive and Well

  1. Colin Tierney says:

    A really fantastic place. When I was many years younger, in my teens, my parents used to take a house during the summer near Inch and my brother and I used to fish, roam and play all over the sand dunes and the backstrand. I swam and climbed sand hills and I even learnt to drive in my dad’s VW Beetle on Inch Beach.

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