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Dublin: 4°C Wednesday 3 March 2021
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Question: Are you in favour of scrapping Daylight Savings Time?

Candidates were also asked to choose between wintertime or summertime.

In our audit of the Midlands North West European election candidates, we asked candidates to answer questions on nine of the most pressing issues facing Ireland and Europe in the coming years. &

Are you in favour of scrapping Daylight Savings Time? If so, would you stick with wintertime or summertime?

Maria Walsh

Earlier this year, MEPs voted to abolish seasonal time changes from April 2021. I agree with Fine Gael MEP, Sean Kelly, who is Ireland’s only Member of the European Parliament Working Group on the bi-annual Clock Change, that it is time for Ireland to abolish daylight savings time. There is a strong body of research to show that the disruption caused by the clock change has a negative impact on our health and safety.&

Anne Rabbitte

Daylight Savings Time was very important for many people around the country, particularly farmers, but I think the country is in a very different place, a lot of practices have been modernised and it’s less relevant now. A number of polls have shown that the majority of the public agree that summertime would probably be more advantageous. In that regard, I would be in favour of scrapping Daylight Savings Time and sticking with summertime.

The one major fear I would have, however, is the potential for two different time-zones on the island of Ireland if the UK doesn’t adopt the same proposals as there would then be a time difference between Dublin and Belfast, or, indeed, Donegal and Derry.

Cyril Brennan

I’m in favour of scrapping daylight saving time, I’m happy to follow the consensus when it comes to winter or summertime, but I would favour summertime.

Patrick Greene

I am not decided, as a child in primary school an experiment in sticking to one time was tried, I do not remember which one but I do remember walking to school in the dark. This was a dangerous situation for those who were walking on roads with no footpath.

A proper discussion and a citizen initiated referendum is needed to come to an agreement between families. The state should not have the right to change it without our consent.

Peter Casey

I think we should scrap daylight savings and stick to one time zone, year round. But this should be put to the people to see what they want.

Michael O’Dowd

We should remain aligned with the UK. Nothing would be more symbolic of a hard border than a time difference.

Mairead McGuinness 

I voted in favour of ending seasonal time changes and postponing implementation until 2021. For Ireland, it is important that whatever decision is taken, it is mindful of the need for the UK and Ireland to be on the same timeline. Dublin and Belfast should not be on different time schedules.

Brendan Smith

Broadly, I support ending the seasonal time shifts. The vast majority of EU citizens as well as most Irish people surveyed also support it.

The European Parliament voted in March to scrap DST from April 2021, but there are some unique factors to be considered here, including whether it should be the existing Summer or Winter time.

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The biggest single consideration is that all of the island of Ireland must remain in the same time-zone, and the potential time changes occur at the same time.

We cannot have a situation where the North and the South have different times for large parts of the year. It would be a farcical situation on our island.

Saoirse McHugh

I think it should be scrapped. I would stick with whichever one the sun sets later in.

Fidelma Healy Eames

Summertime.

Matt Carthy

In March, I voted against a proposal from the EU Commission to discontinue seasonal time changes by 2021, along with other Sinn Féin MEPs.

The decision by the European Parliament to support the Commission’s proposal on seasonal time changes was unfortunate and badly timed. At a moment when we are attempting to deal with the fallout of Brexit, this proposal may in the absurd situation where we could potentially have two different time zones in Ireland.

The British government will determine the time zone for the North, and the Commission will determine the time zone for the southern state, with the people of our island not having a direct say.  This Directive says member states must inform the European Commission if they wish to adjust their seasonal time changes, and that the decision on whether to authorise this is then up to the Commission.

It is a clear example of completely unnecessary over-reach by the European Commission with the acquiescence of some Irish MEPs.

About the author:

Kathleen McNamee

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