On the 4th of September 1976, a group of women refused to acknowledge the long-held tradition of reserving the use of the 40 foot in Sandycove for male bathers. Luckily, the RTÉ camers were on hand to capture the reactions of the men and the determination of the women who steadfastly refused to leave. That archival footage can be found here.
Women who chose to swim at the 40 foot continued to be intimidated by the male bathers. A further protest took place in 1989 when women came to swim in the nude at the 40 foot, as was the custom for male swimmers before 9am.