Irish Naturist Blog

Naturist Blitz March 2016
Ireland

 

Welcome to the Irish Naturist blog where you are invited to share your naturist experiences, from the first timers to the more seasoned naturists.

Click here for a retrospective view of our incredible experience of the NATURIST BLITZ in MARCH 2016, organised by Irish Naturist Association.

Here the video of the Naturist Blitz Program: Naturist Blitz March 2016

And here our best memories in pictures:

Best pics 1

Best pics 2

 

Living the Dream, by Pat Gallagher, president of Irish Naturist Association

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    LIVING THE DREAM

    Sitting here in front of the computer on a miserable Sunday morning with torrential downpours outside, and reading the naturist blog. Then it occurred to me that I have never made a contribution, so now seems as good a time as any.
    Many reading this blog may know me and Mary. Many others will not. Mary and I discovered the freedom of not having to wear clothes back in the mid 70s. We were fortunate enough to have got the lend of a friends caravan near to a beach in Co Wexford. We usually went in June and mid- week the beach was mostly empty. We had a wind cheater for comfort. I soon realised that when I came out of the water and dried off I was still wearing a wet bathing trunks. After a day or so I dispensed with the trunks after swimming and discovered this sense of total freedom. Mary was somewhat fearful that someone might come along and see me, but then she copied my actions and discovered for herself how free it was to be naked and not have to wear wet clothing. We soon dispensed with the costumes altogether and strolled around as nature intended us to be. When we would see a person coming along we simply went to cover behind the wind cheater.
    We took to this lifestyle like a duck to water, soon exploring quiet beaches and lakes
    where we could be naked. We even found a small corner of our semi detached house. Where with the use of a blanket on the clothes line we were not seen from the neighbour. We continued this scenario for a number of years until we discovered the Irish Naturist Association and joined. The association then was somewhat of a secret society with one venue in south Co Dublin. Occasional visits to Brittas beach where we spent most of the time in a large sand dune for fear we might be seen. However, over the years we progressed and soon had proper beach outings and the use of a corporation pool on a weekly basis. Now we were practising proper naturism.
    In 1997 Mary and I decided to pull up sticks and move from the city to a rural setting where we might be afforded more privacy to be able to live our lifestyle. After looking at many places all around the country we found this ideal old farm dwelling in Co Roscommon. It was much further than Mary wanted to go but on arrival this little house somehow seemed to say buy me. So we did. We moved on the day before our 27th wedding anniversary. We knew no one around so it was either a brave or totally senseless move. As it turned out it was the best decision we probably ever made.
    We soon settled in and got to know our way around and meet with people. We were
    accepted well by all but still had our complete privacy around our new home.
    In the beginning the gardens all around were completely overgrown with just about every kind of weed and bramble it’s possible to have. The weather was good so we set out to clear areas for use. This we were able to do without clothing except when using certain heavy power tools. 20 years on now we still carry out some maintence but mostly as nature intended. But mostly when the weather is good we just laze about naked and eat meals in the great outdoors as much as possible. We grow some fruits around the gardens which when picked goes to jam making. This is a hobby that Mary enjoys doing nude except for the occasional use of an apron for health and safety reasons. These jams are sold in the Farmers markets around Roscommon, Leitrim and Sligo and are in high demand. We used to have our own stalls in markets but now we have another person who sells our jams. Most of the work outside and indoors can be done without clothing so we can spend many hours naked as nature intended. In winter we heat the house with radiators from the range so again no need for clothing as the house is always quiet warm. And there is nothing more exhilarating than being able to go out in the frost and snow for a short walk around the property before coming back in to a warm home.
    We got lucky a few years ago when an offer of a hot tub came our way at the right price. This is installed in a specially made housing outside on the veranda. We love to use it regular especially first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening. And it is also appreciated by our naturist friends when they visit.
    I hope by putting our story in writing it has made others think and consider changing their lives so as to get the most out of being naturists and living the dream also. A few photos included to show a little of our lives.
    Pat and Mary

World Naked Garden(ing) Day in Ireland 2017

Following on from the success of our inaugural event to celebrate World Naked Gardening Day at Hunting Brook Gardens last year, where our YouTube video has reached views in excess of 73,000. This year’s event was held at Strokestown Park, Co. Roscommon, over the weekend of the AGM where over 40 INA members plus invited guests to the AGM attended the private booking.

One of the main attractions of Strokestown Park is a six acre walled garden that has been restored to its original splendour, giving an insight into horticultural design and architecture from the 1740’s. The walled gardens include features such as the herbaceous border, the fernery, the lilly pond, the Victorian rose garden, pergola, peach house, vinery, fruit and vegetable garden and herb garden to name but a few.

It must be said how wonderfully accommodating the event coordinator at Strokestown Park was in facilitating a private booking for members of the INA. She even arranged for a private lesson and game of croquet from two members of Strokestown Croquet Club (Croquet was played on the lawns of Strokestown Park in the 1890’s).

Everyone seemed to enjoy the croquet a lot, some kept playing it up until the end of the 2 hours while one lady from Galway displayed a competitive streak against a fellow member from Kilkenny – signs of things to come in the championship!

You can have a visual insight into out Visit to Strokestown Park here: video in youtube available now!

Checking out Mayo’s Naturist Beaches

 On many levels, Ireland is a perfect country for naturism. Granted, maybe our climate could be slightly more clement at times, but with miles and miles of coastline and a relatively small population, finding secluded beaches and coves to strip off in should never be too challenging.

For anyone looking to do just that, the ideal starting point is the INA’s own website which lists a number of naturist friendly beaches around the country. Some are well known and well frequented, such as Sallymount in Wicklow and Trawalua in Sligo; others less so. But equally there are many other locations where opportunities exist to go clothes-free that might not be known to the wider naturist community.

The western county of Mayo is a case in point. The third largest county in Ireland, its rugged and indented coastline is claimed to be the longest of any Irish county at 1,168 km, yet its entire population is only slightly over 130,000 people.

The INA website lists the following four beaches as being naturist friendly in Mayo, so to check out just how suitable they are, members of the INA paid a visit to the county in March. Granted, it was hardly naturist friendly weather, but that didn’t stop this hardcore group from stripping off – all in the call of duty! This is what we found.

  1. Trawmore, Keel, Achill Island

Located at the foot of the vertically rising Minaun Cliffs, said to be one of the highest in Europe, Trawmore is at the eastern end of Keel Beach, the most popular holiday location on Achill. Access off the main R319 thoroughfare is at Dookinelly, approximately 2km east of Keel. From there you progress through a rather densely populated area before the road peters out at the foot of the cliffs.

It’s a relatively open area, with a wave battered sandy beach behind which is a stony section. A car parking / turning area backs onto the grassy mountainside.

It was deserted on the day we were there (although a walking couple did approach as we were leaving), which provided an opportunity to get rid of the clothes and experience a quick stroll as nature intended.The local sheep were singularly unimpressed – clearly not the first naturists they have come across!

Verdict

During high season, the ease of access suggests that Trawmore is  likely to be rather popular on fine days. Though keep to the far end near the rocks and only the more dedicated wanderers should venture that far.

  1. Keem Bay, Achill

 Located at the westerly end of Achill Island (continue on the R319 until the road runs out), and bordered on three sides by cliffs, the exceedingly picturesque Keem Bay features on virtually every review of the region. Indeed on the day we visited there was a constant stream of sightseers despite it being a mid-week day in March, indicating that it is likely to be very popular on fine weekends.

However, take a stroll over to the far (northern) end of the beach and you come across a heart-warming word painted boldly on the craggy landscape.

‘NUDIST’

Beyond this is a small sandy section separated from the rest of the beach, obviously the area where naturists hang out. It would seem that when the tide is out you can just walk straight into it (so not very secluded), but you may have to clamber over the rocks once the tide comes in.

Verdict

Overall we’d rate this quite highly for its naturist potential. While not the most private location, it’s at the far end of the beach, and the ‘Nudist’ sign should give any unsuspecting wanderer sufficient warning of what they may encounter.

  1. Bartraw Beach, Murrisk

Bartraw is a popular beach location south of Westport on the Louisburgh road (R335). Located near Murrisk at the foot of Croagh Patrick, it’s a narrow peninsula jutting out into Clew Bay- take the first road right after Murrisk village to access.

The eastern side of the peninsula (facing towards Croagh Patrick) is the naturist friendly section. Hilly dunes separate the two sides with well worn trails in between. Unlike the western side which has decent stretches of sand, the naturist side of the beach is largely stony.

Verdict

Again this is a beach that will be popular on fine days, though most people will stay on the western side. Walk some distance from the car-park and there should be sufficient privacy to allow naturism to be practiced.

  1. Old Head, near Louisburgh

Old Head is located a few kilometres further on from Bartraw in the Louisburgh direction. The naturist area is a small secluded cove north of the main beach.

From the R335, a turn-off to the right (if you are coming from Westport) sign-posted for Old Head leads to a curving sandy beach backing up onto rocks. When the tide is in traversing over the rocks to the naturist area may be challenging.

There is another access road a little further north off the R335 – a narrow lane that ends on the beach close to the naturist section. However this access road offers minimal car parking space (a couple of cars at max), and barely even room to turn a car, so we’d suggest it is better to park at the main car park and walk around the seashore.

Verdict

The naturist part of the beach is fairly secluded and unlikely to attract too many casual passers-by. The beach area itself is a mixture of rocks and small sandy sections. Access is the biggest challenge – either a decent walk from Old Head car park with tide movement a consideration, or very restricted vehicular access on the nearer road.

CHECK HERE THE VIDEO DEPICTING OUR EXPERIENCE:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXnBVRkS9UE

Have you experienced naturism on any of these beaches? Do you agree with our reviews? Are there other beaches in Mayo that are suitable for naturist activity? If so, please let us know.

Irish Girl Experiencing Naturism For the First Time

Every time I think about what I’m about to do my tummy turns upside down, the sweat grows in the palms of my hands, and my heart races. “Don’t worry my friend tells me” “you’ll be fine”. That’s it! , I have finally made the decision to take my clothes off, GO NAKED!! OMG.

Remembering, I’m the woman that gets undressed with the lights off. I have a million questions going around in my head. What will people think of me?

My body? My scares? My stretch marks? A friendly voice beside me quietly says “your scares are your story, your life and your war wounds. Don’t worry what people think of you it’s none of your business. Take your time and do what makes you comfortable “.

The day has finally arrived, Sun shining high in the sky, walking slowly towards the cliff edge. Then all of a sudden I see naked people. I keep my head low, acting as normal as possible, “to be honest I had a little peak “. My friend utters those words that have occupied my thoughts for months. “Ready! We’re here”. “This is it! Off come the clothes, she laughs at my half-hearted attempt. Then I lay down, the Sun shining on my pale skin, parts of my body have never ever seen the Sun before.

I feel relief, clam and proud of me. I lay there for an hour rising at times to look around. My confidence builds, I stand up “NAKED”. I can’t believe this. The words in my mind keep repeating “OMG I’m so proud of you”. People walk by and say hi as though we were walking by on the street. They don’t look at my body, they look straight into my eyes, people come to chat to me and my friend and they are so friendly, no one focused on each other’s body. Well I did, I seen a guy with a nice behind.

Throughout the day my confidence grew, so much so I decided to swim in the sea NAKED. I met another person swimming “male” we both stood there chatting about where we came from, we joked and laughed.

This is the moment all my fears of being naked left me, I forgot I was naked.

I would have never believed if you told me a year ago that I would be swimming naked with a stranger, “not me”, sure I’m too fat, and my body is not fit to be seen.

Well those thoughts were no longer.

That day before we left, I stood at the edge of the cliff with my arms held high, my head to the Sun and eyes closed feeling a world of emotions. So grateful I faced my fear, I’m not the women I was before I walked on to this cliff. I have my confidence back; I’m grateful for my body my friends support.

I’m proud of me, and to write the words “proud to be a naturist”.

Don’t knock it until you try it.

THIS GIRL GOT IT

charco_del_palo_5072

Paul Moynihan – a naturist life

We are sorry to announce the death of Paul Moynihan, former President of the INA. Paul joined the INA, with his wife Barbara and young children, in the 1970s. The INA was a very different organization then. It was closed and very secretive. Applicants were interviewed in person by the Committee. Surnames were not disclosed and any form of publicity or attracting attention was frowned upon. Members met in each others houses (one member had an outdoor pool) and on occasional outings to the beach at Sallymount near Brittas Bay. On one occasion Paul received an official reprimand from the Committee because he left the shelter of the sand dunes on and walked nude down to the sea! In the 1980s Paul became President and Barbara became Membership Secretary. Around this time Paul, along with some other forward thinking members like Pat & Mary Gallagher, became one of the founder members of Club Aquarius, named after Barbara’s birth sign.
Paul’s antique shop in Francis Street became the public office of the INA. He sold copies of the INF World Naturist Guide and other publications. He was a man of conviction. He shocked local people by openly displaying naturist magazines in his shop window and refused to remove them despite many complaints, visits from the Gardaí and threats of prosecution. He organised the first (and so far only) naturist holiday fair in Dublin when the organisers of the Holiday Fair in the RDS refused his request to have an INA stand there. He gave many interviews to radio and newspapers and took part in a documentary about naturism shown on RTE television. In 1986 he arranged for the first ever meeting in Ireland of the International Naturist Federation. It would be almost 30 years before the INF came back to Ireland in 2014 and it was fitting that Paul and Barbara were able to be there. . Paul was open and friendly and made a huge contribution to advancing the cause of naturism in Ireland. He will be sadly missed by Barbara, his children Cerri and Conor, his grandchildren and by his many friends in the INA. May he rest in peace.

Naturist Lughnasadh Festival 2016

 

 

Beach clean-up, Sallymount Beach, Co. Wicklow, Monday 1st August ’16.

My dreams of fine sunny weather for the opening day of the INA’s “Naturist Lughnasadh Festival” on 1st August were quickly dashed as I departed for Sallymount beach earlier that morning.  It rained for my whole journey! But, as always, our Naturist Goddess Venus provided an opening in the weather for the naturists that gathered to begin the beach clean-up, albeit a bit windy.

We followed the stream to the southern area of the beach where the small bays are formed by the rocks – this area was notably littered. No one bar ourselves could be seen along the full length of the beach as we began cleaning up. The sun made a couple of rare appearances to encourage us to stay naked. After one hour of chatting and rubbish collecting, we made our way back to the cars with three bags of rubbish and the satisfaction of leaving the beach in a cleaner appearance than when we arrived. Our timing was perfect as the rain started to fall again just as we departed.

Sunset at Hill of Slane, Co. Meath, Tuesday 2nd August ’16.

Day 2 of the Naturist Lughnasadh Festival brought naturists to the Hill of Slane, just to the north of Slane Village. This was a popular location as was evident by the presence of tourists and some locals when we arrived. The views of the hill and ruins at the top were magnificent and without crossing the gate into the field, I knew this location would make for some spectacular pictures. In between the various groups of people coming and going, we stripped of in the balmy weather for some pictures in and around the ruins. We even managed to take some wonderful photos as the sun was setting in the distance with naturists looking on.

There was a forest nearby which we could see from the Hill of Slane and decided to explore further. To our delight, as we arrived we found the carpark to be empty. To make the most of the dwindling sunlight, we walked down a short path and came across a vast area where trees had been felled and cleared away. We took some naturist pictures in the diminishing sunlight. As we turned back towards our cars, we could make out the Hill of Slane in the distance, it looked magnificent as it glowed brightly in the dusky evening with the lights shining on the walls of the ruins.

As it was getting dark, we departed the forest but couldn’t resist the temptation to return to the Hill of Slane where more individual and group naturist pictures were captured. We were even joined by an additional naturist. The pictures were so unique to anything we had taken before and looked stunning against the walls of the ruins as the lights shone on them. We eventually left for one final naturist event, an Après Slane Party – perfect way to end a perfect evening.

Naturist Meet Up, Benone Beach, Co. Derry, Wednesday 3rd August ’16.

For the INA Events Team, it is very important to be able to meet as many naturists as possible throughout the whole island of Ireland. The outing to Benone Beach was a fantastic opportunity to meet naturists from this remote region. Typical of our Irish Summer, we experienced many heavy showers of rain on our journey to Banone Beach but once again, our Naturist Goddess Venus cleared the way for a couple of hours of Naturist time on this splendid beach. What amazed me first was how clean this beach was along with the spectacular views of waterfalls and cliff heads. Of course this was greatly helped by the rubbish bins dotted out along the whole length of the beach. One of the naturists that joined us on the day was a ‘local’ from the area and a member of BN NI. This made the outing very interesting with the amount of local knowledge shared with the group and an excellent way to collaborate ideas for future events within the region.

As the beach was so wide and open, we decided to start out naturist walk in the shelter of the sand dunes. The weather was quite warm and ideal for a naturist outing. What a perfect feeling it was to have warm air gently blowing across our bodies as we walked naked through the sand dunes along a path parallel to the nature reserve. We saw many exotic butterflies along our walk towards the first of the mighty waterfalls. The sheer flow and power of the waterfall became evident as we reached the closest viewing point possible without having to cross the main roadway. We stopped for some pictures and spent a little time on the beach as we had now reached the end of the sand dunes. One textile did walk past but continued walking as we returned to the sand dunes to make our way back to the cars. We experienced one shower of rain on our way back to our cars but as it’s a well-known fact that the naked body will dry much faster than wet clothes and we were all dry again before reaching the car park.

Lough Derg – 8th August

In our quest for new contributions to the scenic naturist map of Éire we came up with some pictures of beautiful Norman Tower and lake landscapes around Lough Derg:

 

A few thoughts on Naturism in Ireland

I’m always struck by the paradox at the heart of naturism in Ireland; people who want to ‘bare all’ often have to ‘cover up’ the fact by exercising extreme discretion and make pragmatic compromises so as not to ‘offend’ Victorian attitudes that are at best completely obsolete and would be ‘Father Ted laughable’ if they didn’t have serious potential implications for people’s lives. Were somebody convicted of ‘indecent exposure’ they could be added to the sex offenders register and face personal and professional ruin.   Outdated attitudes (and legislative interpretations based on them) belong to the same body of historic collective opinion that denied women’s basic rights such as property rights and a vote, and criminalised homosexuality.  They also echo current practices in fundamentalist states where a woman can be stoned for not covering her face in public.  Surely it goes without saying that the human body is not shameful, sinful or offensive.

So many of us Irish naturists who have discovered the simple joy of being naked and free in a non-sexual way find ourselves in fear of being criminalised. Imagine – in a 21st Century European Democracy women can get arrested for taking their top off!  But it has happened recently here in Ireland.  Were the Gardai at the Knockstockan Music Festival enforcing the law or imposing laughably outdated Victorian prudishness? If the Gardai were right, the logical conclusion must be that every mother who breastfeeds in a public place should be arrested.

Attempting to criminalise the human body is an illogical, offensive notion that must be clearly rejected for once and for all. It would shock our Victorian predecessors who formulated the ridiculous attitudes to nudity that we’ve inherited that women can now own property independently of their husbands (!), our LGBT brothers and sisters can marry (!!) and the naked body can be seen constantly on tv, in the printed media and on the internet (!!!) but still here in Father-Ted-Land if you dare to undress in a public place you risk being branded a pervert(!!!!)… we have no official clothing optional places in Ireland – we are the ONLY EU country where this is the case.

To treat nudity as intrinsically offensive is perverse and to presume that a naked person on a beach is automatically engaged in a sex act is as ridiculous as arresting every chef in the country in possession of a set of knives for knife crimes! Is nudity intrinsically sexual?  Is a person helping an elderly or infirm relative to take a shower involved in a sex act?  Are parents bathing their children involved in a sex act???  Is a mother who breastfeeds in a café being exhibitionist?  Rhetorical questions I know, but they do serve to illuminate the daftness of automatically associating nudity with inappropriate / undesirable behaviour or intent.  Let’s be clear, naturism is about non-sexual social nudity which is a million miles away from the swingers’ parties or lewd behaviour that some non-naturists often associate with nudity.