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'Naturists in Ireland want to be connected to each other now more than ever'

The Irish Naturism Association has been experiencing a surge in new members since the country came out of lockdown. 'Textile' Katie Byrne joins the group at one of its outdoor events to find out why nudism is booming in Ireland

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The Irish Naturism Association has been experiencing a surge in new members since the country came out of lockdown Photo: Kyle Tunney

The Irish Naturism Association has been experiencing a surge in new members since the country came out of lockdown Photo: Kyle Tunney

The Irish Naturism Association has been experiencing a surge in new members since the country came out of lockdown Photo: Kyle Tunney

It's a bright Sunday morning on White Rock Beach in Dalkey in South County Dublin, and the early risers are out in force. On one side of the beach, there's a family paddling at the water's edge, a group of fifty-somethings spreading out a blanket on the sand and a Labrador sprinting along the surf.

On the other side of the beach, tucked into a rocky cove, is a group of about 20 people practising Qigong and celebrating the June Solstice. It would be an unusual sight at the best of times. The nudity makes it even more so.

This isn't the first time the Irish Naturist Association (INA) has descended en masse on Dalkey's beaches. The 57-year-old organisation hosts regular indoor and outdoor meet-ups for its members. Today, however, is the first time it has hosted naked Qigong on the beach - and it's busier than expected.