Historic Dublin swimming and nudist club votes to continue ban against women

The exclusively male Sandycove Bathers’ Association, a famous Dublin swimming club, will continue to ban women from its ranks.

A famous Dublin swimming club known for male nude bathing based at the Forty Foot site mentioned in Ulysses has again voted to ban women from becoming members.

The Irish Times reports that the exclusively male Sandycove Bathers’ Association will continue to ban women from its ranks.

The Association, founded in the late 1800s, voted 24 to 17 not to allow women to join at a specially convened meeting.

The Forty Foot in Sandycove has been available to men and women for the last 25 years.

But a secluded section to one side of the Forty Foot has been a male preserve for years and nudity is widely practised.

The club also operates two huts - one for changing and one with clubhouse and kitchen facilities – which are not available to women according to the report.

Annual fees for maintenance are accepted from women but this does not entitle them to membership of the Association.

A petition signed by more than 20 of its 170 members called for a motion to change its rules to allow women members over 18 but the proposal was defeated.

One anonymous member told the Irish Times: “The atmosphere at the meeting was quite intimidating with an underlying tone of misogyny.”

Local Labour Party councillor Jane Dillon Byrne, a regular swimmer at the Forty Foot, described the outcome as a ‘gigantic disappointment’.

She said: “Sometimes in winter a kind member with a key to the changing hut might allow a woman leave her clothes there but if she used it to change and others found out there would be a revolution.”