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Dublin: 12 °C Sunday 27 May, 2018

Government to be asked if Met Éireann can determine a bank holiday

What if our meteorological service could declare a bank holiday on a day when the weather is going to be good? One town council wants to see if it’s possible.

Image: Zanthia via Flickr/Creative Commons

WHAT IF WE were guaranteed to have a long weekend when the weather is good? Well one town council is asking the government if it could make it so.

Ennis Town Council has voted unanimously to write to the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation to ask if it will allow Ireland’s meteorological service, Met Éireann, to determine the date of one public holiday a year based on the likelihood of good weather.

The idea – first reported by the The Meteo Times – is that of Green Party Councillor Brian Meaney who says that “endless weeks of wet weather” have led him to believe that the idea of fixed holiday days is a “nonsensical notion”.

“The idea is simple,” he told this week, “You will have Met Éireann – who have a very good track record – they would say that on a certain Monday we are going to have a fine weekend, we’re going to have a Bank Holiday.”

“The reality is that we have a system of bank holidays, the dates of which were dictated by the banks… holidays that suit themselves and I don’t think we want anything associated with the banks.”

He suggested the Met Éireann determined holiday could be called ‘Jean Byrne Day’ after the famous TV weather forecaster and said that the idea was part of a broader conversation about climate change which he wanted to raise.

Meaney continued: “We have to begin to start thinking differently, we have to think outside the box about the way we live, to adapt to climate change because our climate is changing.

“Businesses close down during very cold weather, it’s not something that is unheard of, businesses declare holidays for bad weather. Well let’s have one holiday for good weather.”

Met Éireann, which often takes calls from members of the public in October who want to know what the weather will be like for their wedding in the New Year, said that it would be almost impossible to forecast any weather beyond a week.

“Any forecast beyond a week would be inaccurate or unreliable,” a spokesperson said.

The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation said that it would “not seem appropriate to comment publicly on this issue in advance of replying to any correspondence from the Council”.

“The Department has not received the correspondence mentioned from Ennis Town Council so we would not have had an opportunity to consider the proposals being made,” a statement said.

Previously: This is unprecedented: It’s not raining ANYWHERE in Ireland right now

Read: Jean Byrne wins European meteorological award

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Hugh O'Connell

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