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Dublin: 5 °C Tuesday 18 February, 2020

Why does a Labour TD want to change Ireland's time zone?

A plan to bring Ireland into line with Central European Time could gain us 300 hours of ‘useful’ sunlight a year.

Image: Kevin Harber via Flick/Creative Commons

THE DÁIL WILL today spend a number of hours debating a proposal from Labour TD Tommy Broughan that would abolish Daylight Savings time.

The Brighter Evenings Bill 2012 would require Justice Minister Alan Shatter to produce a report on the pros and cons of Ireland joining Central European Time (CET) – and staying there.

Broughan says that the plan would gain over 300 hours of ‘useful’ light for Ireland a year and wants to see the report compiled by a number of parties.

“I’m asking the minister to bring together a number of relevant stakeholders such as the Road Safety Authority, the Irish Farmers Association and others to discuss the cost benefits of moving into CET,” said the Dublin North East TD, who added that the plan could work on a number of grounds.

“From a health point of view, it would help a large number of people who are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder, who come October have to face extremely dark evenings. It would also help from a recreation point of view, where people would have more time to go out walking or playing sports.

It would be better for road safety as there is a peak of fatalities between 4pm and 7pm, particularly on dark evenings and it would cut down on energy consumption in the evening peak.

A campaign in the UK has called on their government to implement the change, but a bill to enact that change has been in limbo since last year. Campaigners there say that the bill would boost tourism and save half a million tonnes in carbon emissions.

Broughan admitted that ‘jumping [into time zone change] without the UK would be difficult’, but pointed out that Ireland did so with the Euro.

Poll: Should we scrap daylight saving time?

Read: Grab your bikini and BBQ, it’s going to hit 25C today

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