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Has time run out on turning the clocks back? Irish public asked to say what they want to happen

Minister Charlie Flanagan has announced a public consultation on the issue which will run until 30 November 2018.

Image: Shutterstock/Casezy idea

WITH THE CLOCKS due to go back by an hour overnight tonight, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan has announced a public consultation asking people if they think we should scrap the twice-yearly practice.

The consultation will ask the public if they are in favour of abandoning the current system. If they are, they’ll be asked whether they’d rather constantly stay constantly on”summer time” – after the clocks go forward -  or “winter time” – when they go back.

The public consultation has opened, and people can get involved here. You can also take part by emailing timeconsultation@justice.ie.

Flanagan said: “As this is an issue that affects everyone, it is very important that as many people as possible respond to this consultation and express their views so that the Government may take account of public opinion when considering this proposal by the EU.

It is important to acknowledge that if the UK were to adopt a different position, this would present particular challenges for the island of Ireland.  Any position adopted by Ireland will be informed by this important consideration.

The EU commission recommended last month the abolition of daylight savings and said it could come into force as soon as 2021.

The government is not keen on a situation where the UK wouldn’t follow suit, meaning two different time zones on the island of Ireland

Fine Gael MEP Deirdre Clune has long been an advocate of changing the current system.

“There are many benefits to ending the process of changing the clocks each year such as improved outcomes for road safety and economic benefits,” she said. “In addition brighter evenings in winter would have a positive benefit for public health.”

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The three main questions posed in the consultation are:

  1. Do you want to stop changing the clocks twice a year?

  2. If the clock changes stop, do you want to remain on summer time or winter time?

  3. Is staying on the same time as the UK more important than your choice of summer time/winter time?

The closing date for submissions is Friday 30 November 2018.

About the author:

Sean Murray

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