A mother has told a court of her shock at seeing a naked man she alleges was performing a solo sex act while facing children at one of the country’s most popular beaches last summer.
At Ennis District Court, the woman said that the man was standing, leaning against rocks at Lahinch beach, as he carried out the solo sex act on August 28th last.
The woman - who had made a family day trip to Lahinch - told the court that seeing the man perform the solo sex act “made me shocked, especially as he was facing children”.
The woman phoned gardaí concerning what she had allegedly seen, the second time that day that she phoned gardaí in relation to the man.
The woman said that she first phoned gardaí after seeing the man to her right standing up naked with an erection facing towards the water.
In the case, the man denies engaging in a solo sex act in a public place likely to cause fear and alarm in others and exposing his genitals intending to cause fear, distress or alarm to another person in a public place.
Garda Paul Hehir told the court that in response to the first call, gardaí arrived at the beach and spoke to the man.
Garda Hehir said the man said that if he was nude, it was innocent as he was changing swimwear at the time.
Garda Hehir said that the man was wearing speedos when gardaí arrived. He said that in response to the woman’s second call, the man was not there when gardaí arrived.
In a subsequent Garda interview, the man said that he did not engage in a solo sex act. He said: “No - definitely not.”
He said: “I didn’t expose myself to anyone - I thought I was on my own.”
The man said that he was in a secluded part of the beach away from people on what he said was the hottest day of the year.
The man - living in Limerick - had cycled from Ennis to Lahinch on the day.
Asked at interview about being nude at the beach, the man - represented by solicitor Daragh Hassett in the case - said: “If I was naked, I was naked - I could have been standing up, I was facing the sun. I was not aware of people there."
He added: “Erection or no erection? I don’t know. It is up to them to judge.”
The man at interview said: “Sometimes I sunbathe naked on naturist beaches. I do sunbathe naked while reading. I thought I was on my own.”
In court, the man repeated his denials of engaging in a solo sex act at the beach and said that he was only naked when changing his swimming shorts.
The man lives with his partner and child in Limerick and arrived in Ireland in 2020.
Judge Alec Gabbett adjourned the case until next Wednesday when he will deliver his verdict.