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Dublin: -1°C Saturday 17 April 2021

Don't forget - the clocks go back one hour tonight

We’ll go from GMT+1 to GMT.

Image: Shutterstock/CC7

A QUICK REMINDER that tonight – the clocks will go back by one hour

Justice Minister Helen McEntee reminded the public this weekend that ‘winter time’ officially begins at 1am on Sunday 25 October (so tomorrow, technically).

Smartphones should automatically take on the change, but mechanical clocks and watches will need to be put back one hour at that time.

‘Winter time’ ends at 1am GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) on Sunday 28 March 2021.

The clocks will then go forward again and we’ll go back into GMT+1.

Time changes a thing of the past?

There has been some debate in the EU about whether to scrap Daylight Savings Time. 

In March last year, the European Parliament voted to abolish the seasonal time change, which is based on trying to take advantage of the most available daylight as possible.

Here are the two options are:

  • If we choose summer time – the time we’re in now – it would mean brighter evenings, with darker mornings in the winter than we currently experience.
  • If we choose winter time – the time we’re about to switch to – it would mean brighter mornings, with darker evenings in the summer than we currently have.

Ireland and other member states are being given a period of 12 months to decide if they’ll stay on summertime or not. That means that when we change our clocks in March next year, it could be for the last time.

There is a very obvious problem if Ireland does abolish Daylight Savings Time – what happens in Northern Ireland?

Because the UK is no longer in the EU, if Ireland chooses to adopt the European Parliament’s resolution it could result in different time zones on the island of Ireland.

Leo Varadkar said during his time as Taoiseach that he wouldn’t want Ireland and Northern Ireland to be in different time zones, which may be enough to ensure Ireland doesn’t scrap the biannual time changes.

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