Full exposure: nudity and the law


It can be an offence under Irish law for a person to expose themselves in a public place, including private lands seen from a public place.

So there are no official nudist beaches in Ireland. The fact Irish law does not recognise naturism remains a source of frustration to the Irish Naturist Association (INA), which is campaigning for the provision of officially approved, clothing optional beaches.

Yet the INA says none of its members has ever been prosecuted for naturist activities. It believes as long as naturists behave in a considerate manner, no police action will be taken against them.

A Mintel report, published last June, showed that when it comes to embracing public nudity, Ireland is close to the bottom of the scale. The report identified Croatia, Spain and the Scandinavian countries as places where attitudes to public/social nudity are most liberal.

France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK are described as countries with a "well-developed and fairly widely accepted" attitude to nudity.

Naturism is "tolerated rather than accepted" in traditional beach holiday destinations such as Portugal, Greece and Italy, while it's considered a relatively new concept in Bulgaria and Luxembourg. In Ireland, the report says, naturism is "inhibited by culture, religion and the law".