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Life's a beach for Ulster naturists

By Sinead McCavana

Published 10/04/2005

PLANS have been revealed for a nudist beach in one of Ulster's top beauty spots.

PLANS have been revealed for a nudist beach in one of Ulster's top beauty spots.

Local naturists' naked ambition is to transform a strip of Portstewart strand into a sanctuary for nude sunbathers.

Naturist, John Kennedy, from Ballymena, confirmed the group had been in talks with the beach's owners, the National Trust.

Said John: "We were trying to keep this quiet, because negotiations are at a very early stage.

"Discussions with the trust have only been going on for a couple of days now - there are people talking to the trust on our behalf."

The naturist group, which is based in Co Antrim, went public last year in a bid to attract new members.

At the time, it was revealed that the group went for early morning walks through Portglenone Forest.

John says four more people joined in the past year - swelling the group to 14.

But, he believes a nudist beach would bring many more closet naturists out into the open.

He added: "There are nude beaches in the south of Ireland and England. If we had somewhere closer, we wouldn't have to trek down south in the summer.

"I think a lot more people would join if there was a nudist beach.

"When people go on foreign holidays, they go topless, so this is just one step further."

Ulster's bare-faced naturists say even Portstewart's unpredictable weather, and chilling north Atlantic winds, aren't enough to put them off.

Said John: "Sure, there are plenty of good days, too!"

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