Ireland’s oldest naturist has said there is very little difference between wearing skimpy bikinis and going nude on the beach.
On Lunchtime Live this afternoon, three members of the Irish Naturist Society discussed the increasing popularity of naturism in Ireland over recent years – and the best places to let it all hang out.
76-year-old Colin Tierney told Andrea that he has been a naturist for more than 70 years.
“I think I am about one of the oldest [naturist in Ireland],” he said.
“I was just talking to our past president there this morning and he tells me that I am two years older than he is so I probably am about the oldest. I haven’t come across anybody else older than me so far.
“I have been a naturist for 70-plus years so quite a long time. I am 76 so if there is an older naturist out there, please let us know.”
He said he fell in love with naturism while playing on the beach as a boy.
“As I grew up then, OK I do wear swim trunks occasionally but I don’t like wearing them – they’re too soggy, they’re cold and miserable and one feels miserable in them so what is the point?
“My attitude is, I don’t go for a shower or a bath with clothes on so why go for a swim in the sea with clothes on?”
He said there is a fine line between naturism and some of the costumes people wear to the beach nowadays.
“I was on the beach on Sunday and the fairer sex, there were a lot of ladies there dressed in the skimpiest bikinis I have ever seen and they weren’t covering very much so what is the difference between doing that and going nude on the beach? There’s very little difference.”
The increasing popularity of naturism has been linked to a 2017 change in the law which means it is now only illegal to be naked in public if you are “intending to cause fear, distress or alarm to another person.”
Also on the show, Ciara Langan said naturism is “just hugely practical.”
“I don’t particularly like labels on clothing irritating my skin and also, when you’re going for a swim, it is just way more practical to go in nude and come out nude; you dry off naturally and you don’t have to do the standing around in the towel dance which is awkward – you just dry off and relax for a while.
“It is hugely practical because you are getting a lot more vitamin D and you just have this carefree and safe and respectful environment to do it in.”
Stephen Bolton told Andrea that naturism is an expression of freedom and body positivity.
He said the Irish Naturist Association organises indoor activities as well as the usual sea swimming and summer days at the beach.
“We will do yoga, swimming; there have been restaurants booked for us as well, art gallery tours … if you’re going to an art exhibition of nudes why not go naked?
He said the popularity of naturism has increased “dramatically” in recent years.
“With the advent of people working from home – maybe not today but over the last few weeks – people have been at home, wearing their tracksuit bottoms and just saying why not strip off just another little layer and work naked on a Wednesday? Why not?”
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