A dip in the nip: Cork leisure centre hosts naked swimming for nudists who said there was 'great craic in the sauna'

A dip in the nip: Cork leisure centre hosts naked swimming for nudists who said there was 'great craic in the sauna'
Fermoy Leisure Centre hosted the naked swim session.

Fermoy Leisure Centre had a strict dress code today for a private event that attracted nudists from all over Cork.

The County Council-owned swimming pool shut for an hour so naturists could indulge in some nude swimming. 

The private event, run by the Irish Naturists Association, attracted locals and people from across the country, with one attendee revealing he had learned to swim at the venue as a child. 

A total of 25 people took the opportunity to enjoy a 'dip in the nip' away from prying eyes.

One local of the town revealed it was his first time dabbling in naturism.

"I only heard about this event last week," he confessed. 

"People travelled such a long time way to be here but I live in Fermoy so I came along to try it out. This is actually the pool where I learned to swim as a child. I thought I'd come and check it out."

He spoke of the friendly and non-judgmental atmosphere at the event.

"There was great craic in the sauna. Everyone was really nice."

Jack O'Shea had travelled from Waterford.

"My wife and I have been members of the Irish Naturist Association for five years now," he said. 

"We had been attending naturist resorts in Spain for a while. I think it's important for people to understand that we're not all weirdos. In actual fact, none of us are."

Naturist Stephen Bolton told The Echo recently that he'd love to see more nudist beaches in Cork
Naturist Stephen Bolton told The Echo recently that he'd love to see more nudist beaches in Cork

Another attendee Mark said he would like to see weekly nude swims in Cork.

"I believe it shouldn't be a taboo subject. 

"Naturism here doesn't register on the radar, yet we are ordinary people like everyone else. We would like to see other collaborators getting on board so there can be weekly nude swims in Cork."

Colin, who lives in Cork city, first discovered the benefits of naturism while in Germany.

"I spent time in Germany where attitudes were totally different," he said.

"Everyone had their clothes off in sauna and steam-rooms and it made me realise just how normal nude it is. It should be normal, but it isn't. 

"It's very different from Germany. Over there the attitude is, why wear clothes in the sauna if you wouldn't wear them in the shower?"

However, he finds there is still a stigma around naturism in Cork. 

"I'm still very slow to tell people because I don't know what their response is going to be like."

One Cork man revealed he is trying to persuade his wife to join him at a naturist event.

"My wife is yet to come with me. One of the things I get asked is if I want to go to look at other people or have other people look at me, but of course, it's neither of the two," he laughed.

He discussed the benefits of such events. 

"There is such a large focus on eating disorders in young people. 

"Ironically, at events like this, there is less of a focus on body image. 

"There is always a fear of doing these things at first. 

"After a while, you realise that the fear is all in inside your head. 

"It's yourself that you're afraid of and not anyone else. 

"Swimming with friends shouldn't have to be considered naturism. People at events like this are a lot less judgmental. It's just another way to spend a Sunday evening."

For one man, who had recently moved from Norway, the event was just another way of making friends.

"Since I'm travelling alone I thought I could go somewhere where I could get to know people."

Events coordinator, Leticia Medine, urged other Cork businesses, willing to host naturist events, to get in touch.

"We would really like to expand what we're doing. Cork needs more events like this. 

"We are looking for organisations who are willing to help to get in contact with us. 

"It's not just leisure centres we're hoping to hear from but also restaurants too as we have a lot of ideas for events."

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