Clocks go back tonight — for what could be the final time

Clocks go back tonight — for what could be the final time

Last year, the European Parliament voted to abolish the concept of seasonal time change. When ‘winter time’ officially ends in March of next year, the concept of seasonal change may end also. Picture: Pexels

Ireland will officially move to ‘winter time’ tonight — when the clocks go back by one hour on the stroke of 2am — for what could be the final time.

While most smartphones, laptops, tablets, and other electronic items will update automatically, older mechanical items will need to be adjusted.

There has been much debate in the European Union recently around whether seasonal time-change remains necessary.

Last year, the European Parliament voted to abolish it, and when ‘winter time’ officially ends in March of next year, the concept of seasonal change may end also.

Brexit

The ongoing issue of Brexit has complicated matters, at least from an Irish perspective. 

If Ireland adopts the resolution of the European Parliament next year, there is a possibility that Ireland and Northern Ireland may end up operating under different time zones, which is something the Government is seeking to avoid.

Citing a recent survey, the Department of Justice said that "any change that would result in two time zones on the island of Ireland" would inevitably lead to "increased difficulties for business and the general public".

Fine Gael MEP for Ireland South, Sean Kelly, is one of a group of MEPs who say the concept of daylight saving time has outlived its usefulness.

Speaking today, Mr Kelly said: “We made great progress on this over the last number of years — a small band of MEPs working on this, holding hearings, bringing in experts, getting research done.

"It all pointed to one factor — that changing the clock twice a year had outlived its usefulness, and in fact, was detrimental to society in terms of heart, in terms of energy, and in terms of the economy."

A poll carried out by Ireland Thinks last week found that 47% of Irish people did not want the clock to go back.

A further 20% said they agreed with the time change, but only because Northern Ireland was also moving to ‘winter time’.

Some 31% agreed that the clocks should go back as normal, and 2% said they were unsure about the change.

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