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Naked in own Garden

Is it illegal to be naked in your own garden in Ireland? Is naturism illegal here? Emmy

Hi Emmy. This question is one of public morality and the criminal aspects are dealt with by the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1935 and needs to be updated. Section 18 is relevant here:  

18.—Every person who shall commit, at or near and in sight of any place along which the public habitually pass as of right or by permission, any act in such a way as to offend modesty or cause scandal or injure the morals of the community shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall on summary conviction thereof be liable to a fine not exceeding two pounds or, at the discretion of the court, to imprisonment for any term not exceeding one month.  

There was a case a number of years ago in the District Court involving “The Diceman” in Grafton St. in Dublin. The Diceman (Tom McGinty) was one of the first street artists and he was arrested for wearing a ladies corset and a man’s Elizabeth cod-piece and nothing else. The Judge found that his dress was not the issue but Tom’s street act in the gear was lewd and he was convicted. 

Unless your back garden is open to view from a public premises (shop etc) or road or laneway (no fence or back wall etc) then there is probably no crime of public immorality. Your sunbathing naked however may cause what’s called a private nuisance to your neighbours and this might leave you open to a civil action to stop you doing so. 

In Civil Law, everyone is entitled to (as the law puts it) the quiet and peaceful enjoyment of their property. An elderly neighbour might take offence at nakedness next door. My interpretation of the civil law in this case Emmy is that you should be considerate of your neighbours. If they don’t have any objections then go right ahead. If they do object, you should stick to sunbathing and put up side screens so you can’t be seen. 

Here’s the link to the Act: http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/1935/en/act/pub/0006/index.html 

There’s an interesting article in The Kingdom Newspaper on naturism and the lobby to create nudist beaches in Kerry. 

http://archives.tcm.ie/thekingdom/2006/06/29/story20990.asp

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