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Question: Are you in favour of scrapping Daylight Savings Time?

Environmental concerns and a time difference with the UK were some of the issues mentioned by candidates.

In our audit of the Dublin 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?

Ciarán Cuffe

Source: Claire Behan

I would look at how we can reduce our energy demands. If scrapping daylight savings time means less energy spent then that’s good.

I think we need to look at children’s safety. They’re some of the most vulnerable people walking to school and we want to make sure that happens in daylight. Maybe we can change school times.

I think we need to think very carefully about all of this but I have an open mind. But let’s look at the energy savings.

Alice Mary Higgins 

While I don’t have strong views on this issue, a recent public consultation suggests that a large majority of the Irish public are in favour of scrapping it and, if we are choosing, I choose permanent summertime!

Frances Fitzgerald 

Yes, however I think we must take into account what the UK is going to do with their timezone. As our nearest neighbour and the fact that we share an island, we must take this into consideration before we make a final decision on this.

Mark Durkan

I’ve heard the various arguments in relation to it. I wouldn’t agree with changes that are going to result in different time zones on this island. I think that’s a question that we have to answer collectively at an all-island, British and Irish level.

Mark Mullen

mark mullan for europe

I’m fairly neutral on this issue.

Clare Daly 

Yes. I’d probably lean towards summertime, since it would mean longer evenings – and longer evenings would allow more people to get out and about after work, which could only be a good thing. But I’d go with whatever the majority comes back with through the public consultation.

Barry Andrews

Any final decision on this cannot be taken until Brexit is resolved given the possibility that it could give rise to two different time-zones on the island of Ireland which is obviously not acceptable.

Rita Harrold 

The Socialist Party and Solidarity has not discussed our position on this issue but we will favour the approach that maximises working class people’s health and well-being, rather than what is expedient for and catering to big business profits.

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Alex White 

I am in favour of one timezone on the island of Ireland. That’s not dodging the question but the reality is that the UK may have left the European Union by the time the directive on daylight savings time takes force in 2021.

Whatever the merits of longer evenings or brighter mornings the most important issue is that the island of Ireland operates on the same time zone.  We can’t have a situation whereby Clones and Coalisland operate on different time zones.

If Brexit proceeds we need to work with the UK on practical, important issues such as this.

Gary Gannon

I am in favour of scrapping DST. I think given the changes in working patterns in recent decades, the purpose of DST has been rendered obsolete.

Many psychologists believe there will be mental health benefits as workers will experience more daylight in the evenings after work.

Also, a recent European Commission public survey showed 84% of people were in favour of this change to setting the clocks permanently to summertime, which is something I support.

Lynn Boylan 

It is absolutely imperative that the island of Ireland remain a single time zone and we believe member states should be free to set their own clocks.

There are health benefits to be gained from ending the practice of changing the clocks. Potential benefits from sticking with summertime include fewer road traffic accidents, reduced energy consumption and therefore lower carbon emissions.

About the author:

Kathleen McNamee

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