March 30 (UPI) — Ireland will have its first official nude beach next month.
Although the Emerald Isle isn’t known for sunbathing nudists, visiting the beach sans clothes wasn’t unheard of in the predominately Catholic country.
“This country has had people using beaches all around Ireland for as long as I can remember for nude bathing,” Pat Gallagher, the Irish Naturist Association, told Good Morning Ulster. “A lot of people would prefer not to say to anyone, but they would go on the continent to nude beaches or go to nude resorts on their holidays.”
However, public nudity was against the law until last year. After the law changed, Irish nudists sought a beach where they could take advantage of the new laissez-faire policy towards clothes.
They found it Hawk Cliff in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County, just south of Dublin.
But local councillor John Bailey told the Dublin Gazette that the council should have discussed the nude beach before its designation was implemented.
“My attitude is this: This is a coastal area, it belongs to the public and I don’t want any exclusive zones. I want access for everybody,” Bailey said.”I want everybody to enjoy the public facilities. And having these exclusion zones I think it’s not good. I’m not against people who want to do that, that’s their choice, but I don’t think it’s good for young children and families.”
But Gallagher told TV3 there won’t be any harm about a few naked people at the beach.
“We simply want to go there, lie in the sun, get in the water, have a swim…but we don’t want to wear anything, that’s all.”