As clocks go back, Minister Flanagan urges public to take part in consultation on whether clock changes should be abolished
 

 

27 October 2018

 

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, has reminded the general public that “summer time” will come to an end tonight at 2am, Sunday 28 October 2018.  At that point, “winter time” will commence and clocks and watches should be put back one hour to 1am Greenwich Mean Time.

 

Minister Flanagan took the opportunity of the clock change to announce the opening of a public consultation process on the future of the twice-yearly clock change.  The consultation asks members of the public whether they are in favour of abandoning the current system and, if they are, whether they would prefer to stay constantly on “summer time” or “winter time”.

 

The Minister said: “The EU Commission has proposed abolishing clock changes.  As this is an issue that effects 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 consultation asks three important questions:

  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. What would your opinion be if this proposal were to give rise to different time zones between Ireland and Northern Ireland?

 

Further information regarding the consultation can be found on the Department of Justice and Equality’s website www.justice.ie.  You can have your say on this issue by completing this online survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Consultation_on_Seasonal_Clock_Changes  or emailing timeconsultation@justice.ie.  The closing date for submissions is Friday 30 November 2018.

 

ENDS

 

Note for editors

 

Clocks are changed twice each year in order to cater for the changing patterns of daylight and to match the hours of available daylight to people’s daily activities.  Summer time was first introduced in Ireland in 1916.

 

EU legislation on “summer time” was first introduced in 1980, with the objective of ensuring that all countries within the single market made these clock changes at the same time.  Since 2001, all Member States switch to “summer time” on the last Sunday of March and switch back to their “winter time” on the last Sunday of October.

 

Following an EU-wide public consultation to gather citizens’ views on the seasonal clock changes, the EU Commission has concluded that the majority of people who responded are in favour of abolishing the twice-yearly clock change and have put forward a proposal to give effect to this.  Further details on the proposal, together with the arguments for and against changing, are available at: https://ec.europa.eu/info/consultations/2018-summertime-arrangements_en.

 

A permanent “summer time” would mean brighter evenings and darker mornings in the winter than we currently experience.

A permanent “winter time” by contrast would mean brighter mornings and darker evenings in the summer than we currently experience.

 

The following tables outline what the sunrise/sunset hours would be under each option.

 

Time of sunrise and sunset in Dublin city at four dates throughout the year under the current system of the clocks going backwards and forwards

Current arrangements

 

Sunrise

Sunset

Day length

20 Mar

6:26

18:39

12:13

20 June

4:56

21:56

17:00

20 Sept

7:07

19:27

12:20

20 Dec

8:37

16:07

7:30

 

Time of sunrise and sunset in Dublin city at the same dates if we were to stay on constant “winter time” or “summer time”

 

Constant “winter time”

Constant “summer time”

 

 

Sunrise

Sunset

Sunrise

Sunset

Day length

20 Mar

6:26

18:39

7:26

19:39

12:13

20 June

3:56

20:56

4:56

21:56

17:00

20 Sept

6:07

18:27

7:07

19:27

12:20

20 Dec

8:37

16:07

 9:37

17:07

7:30

 

Source: NOAA

https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/grad/solcalc/sunrise.html