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Judge 'not surprised' by nudist found sunbathing in Ballymahon

'It's not Victorian Ireland' says judge after convicting man of exposure

A judge has said he was not surprised to hear about a naturist being found sunbathing naked beside an apartment block in Ballymahon, saying 'it's not Victorian Ireland'.

Glen Wrather, originally from Leeds, was handed down a €200 fine after being convicted of exposing himself in a public place at Ballymahon, Co Longford on July 6 2018.

The 57-year-old was charged after a woman, who was hanging out washing at the Thomond Court apartment complex in the south Longford town, came across a "completely naked" Mr Wrather who was out sunbathing at the time.

Sgt Paddy McGirl told Longford District Court that Mr Wrather was lying face down when the woman first noticed Mr Wrather before contacting her husband.

When he arrived on the scene later that afternoon, Mr Wrather was still naked, only this time the accused was lying on his back.

Mr Wrather, who initially appeared to represent himself, attempted to open a bag which his court assigned solicitor Brid Mimnagh said contained his shorts and swimming trunks.

The part-time farm worker had no previous convictions the court was told, and had been resident here for the past seven years.

Prior to that, Mr Wrather had worked at Leeds University and specialised in the CCTV industry in both the UK and Ireland.

Ms Mimnagh said her client had suffered a head injury in the past, an ailment which does, on occasions, affect his memory.

She also revealed he described himself as a "naturist" and had been for the past 25 years.

"He also tells me head had oil on," she told the court.

Judge Seamus Hughes noted how there had been growing discussions in the national media over calls by certain quarters for more nudist beaches.

"I am not personally surprised," commented Judge Hughes. "It's not Victorian Ireland."

Handing down a €200 fine to Mr Wrather, Judge Hughes warned him of his future conduct, advising him he could not partake in such similar instances in public places from now on.

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