The Irish Naturist Association has called for more areas on Ireland’s beaches to be designated nudist areas.

A soon to be published study commissioned by the Association shows that the stereotypical Irish insecurity about the human form is all changing.

It’s getting easier for naturists at the moment. I think attitudes have softened,” said Pat Gallagher, a spokesperson for the association.

“Back when my wife and I joined the Irish Naturist Association in 1983, you had to be very secretive about it. Now, it’s more common. For example, you had the artist Spencer Tunick in Ireland and thousands of people took their clothes off [for his photographs]. We’re much more relaxed about the naked body nowadays.”

“Most people have encountered nudist beaches at some point in their lives now,” he said. “But it was a no-no in Ireland when we started first. People had been brainwashed into thinking there was something wrong with the human body.”

Gallagher and the Irish Naturist Association are asking that more beaches be designated as nudist areas. He says that Ireland could become a major destination for nudist tourists.

“We’ve had a positive response from Kerry County Council, who said they don’t have anything against the idea and are reviewing the situation… Our survey has pointed to the fact that if there were naturist facilities in Ireland, then people here would consider using them,” said Gallagher.

“The closest thing we have here in Ireland is when individual clubs organize their own events, such as ours. There is one swimming pool in Dublin that rents use to a club, but in Germany, for instance, municipal pools have allocated times for naturist swimming.”

The study which the Irish Naturist Association will soon publish shows that 88 percent of Irish people would consider using naturist facilities if they were available. Also 82 percent said they would support naturism being officially recognized.