Clothing-Optional Beach Established in Ireland

Hawk Cliff, Killiney, Co. Dublin, the site of Ireland's first legal clothing optional beach. (Photo: Giuseppe Milo / Flickr)

By Mary Gallagher, Editorial Assistant
June / July 2018

The County Council of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown announced plans in March to accommodate nude bathers at Hawk Cliff beach in Dalkey, County Dublin, making it the first Irish beach to do so. Signs indicating the permissible presence of unclothed beachgoers were posted at Hawk Cliff in April.

In a victory for Ireland’s naturist population, changes to the laws regarding public exposure were made in 2017. The revisions clarify that the act is only criminal if the individual in question aims “to cause fear, distress, or alarm,” or attempts to copulate publicly.

“We don’t go out to offend anyone,” Pat Gallagher, head of the Irish Naturist Association, told the Irish Sun. “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.”

While other beaches in Ireland still forbid nude sunbathing, many naturists seek secluded portions of traditional beaches to avoid detection. Popular spots include Silver Strand Beach in Barna, County Galway and Brittas Bay in County Wicklow.

The arrangements have upset some local politicians, who claim they were planned without their knowledge. The issue has proven the source of controversy in the past, nude bathers being threatened with arrest on numerous occasions by public officials. ♦

 

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