Ireland is known for many things (pubs, rain, shamrocks) but beaches and public nudity aren’t exactly high on that list.
However, the Emerald Isle is bringing the two together with its first nudist-friendly beach, which will officially open at Hawk Cliff in Dalkey, south Dublin, this April.
Steps leading down to nearby Viko Bathing Place at Hawk Cliff are pictured in the photograph above.
While the news will come as a surprise to many who travel here, it turns out naked sunbathing has been on the rise in the country for a number of years.
“This country has had people using beaches all around Ireland for as long as I can remember for nude bathing,” Pat Gallagher from the Irish Naturist Association told BBC radio show 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.”
‘A milestone for Ireland’
The organization has been campaigning for a nudist beach for a while and finally got its wish when Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council agreed to display signs at Hawk Cliff warning people of nude sunbathers, a first for Ireland.
“Every other country in Europe has these kind of signs,” add Gallagher. “It is a milestone for Ireland.”
According to Gallagher, Hawk Cliff is already popular with naturists as well as those who opt to keep their bathing suits on, so the move shouldn’t cause any major disruptions.
The moves comes after Ireland amended its law regarding public nudity so it’s only an offense if someone is “intending to cause fear, distress or alarm” or engages in sexual activity.
While Ireland’s nudist community may be thrilled by the developments at Hawk Cliff, the news hasn’t gone down well with everyone.
“We are not designating this beach as a nudist beach,” says a spokesperson from Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.
“However, we are arranging for signage at this location, to advise the public that they may encounter nude bathers.”