Pat Gallagher at his home in Roscommon
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The naturist trail: ‘Once you try it, there’s no going back’

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The naturist trail: ‘Once you try it, there’s no going back’

Pat Gallagher, president of the Irish Naturist Association, and his wife, Mary, are among the few in Ireland willing to speak publicly about the lifestyle. They started off by accident, says Pat

You might think that nudists would be fairly visible and easy to track down. Isn’t there a latent exhibitionism in casting your clothes to the wind and stepping out mother-naked into the sunshine? An out-and-proud statement of personal freedom? But when I set out to find them, it turns out that many Irish naturists are keen to keep their identities, if not their bodies, firmly under wraps, and at least some of them are as slippery as eels.

A prospective encounter with a secret group of nudists from north Co Antrim looks promising until it becomes clear that the price of meeting them was the surrender of my own clothes, in the interests of creating “a level playing field”.

Pat Gallagher at his home in Roscommon with Fionola Meredith
Brenda Fitzsimons Pat Gallagher at his home in Roscommon with Fionola Meredith

“Go on: dare to bare,” they repeatedly urge me. When I decline, pleading a preference for private nudity – I have no problem leaping naked into the surf on a remote Donegal beach, and have done so, but I don’t want anyone else around to watch me do it – the trail suddenly goes cold.

Or perhaps the Antrim naturists simply got cold feet. It wouldn’t be surprising, given the punitive attitude towards nudity in the North. Last month, following the apprehension of two skinny-dippers who were caught cooling down in the sea in Holywood, Co Down, during a heatwave, the PSNI warned anyone else thinking of stripping off that they could end up with a criminal record and a place on the sex offenders register. It seems that the sight of a naked body, particularly if it is male, is still regarded as an affront to decency by many, carrying the power to shock, traumatise and corrupt the innocent. No wonder the nudists are lying low.

Continued…Read full original article…

Source: The Irish Times

Original publication 25 August, 2014

Posted on NatCorn 29th December 2019

Reference to an article does not infer endorsement of any views expressed.

One Comment

  1. It is amazing how crazy people get about nudity. Same thing here in the states. You get in less trouble shooting someone. I always say, no body ever got cancer from secondhand nudity.
    Be free

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