Cllr. Emer Higgins has encouraged people to have their say on whether or not the clocks should change twice a year. The Department of Justice is conducting a public consultation on the issue, in response to the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s announcement in August that the EU would recommend member states end the practice of changing clocks twice a year.
“We recently took a step backwards in time, so now while the clock change is fresh in people’s minds it’s the perfect opportunity to ask if we should continue the practice,” said Cllr. Emer Higgins. Daylight saving time was introduced during World War One as an energy saving initiative and is still a widely adopted practice across Europe and the United States. It was also viewed as a safety measure.
“Personally I hate when the clocks go back at this time of the year. I feel it makes the nights very suddenly longer and am aware of the negative impact it can have on some people’s mental health and the loneliness some people, especially those who live alone, experience during winter. I’d love to do away with the seasonal change and stick to the time we’re at in summer, but only if that’s practical. My biggest concern from a practicality perspective is; would we end up creating a time-difference between the Republic and Northern Ireland. That’s what could happen if we stopped changing our clocks and the United Kingdom decided to continue changing theirs. Already, before Brexit becomes a reality, the UK has indicated that it won’t revisit its clock changing practices, so that could create a difficulty for us, if Ireland did. Farmers and those who walk and cycle to work may have other concerns also, which is why it’s so important that people use this consultation to have their say,” explained Cllr. Emer Higgins.
“Minister Charlie Flanagan is conducting a public consultation on the issue so now is your chance to have your say. Simply log on to Justice.ie and complete the quick survey it shouldn’t take more than 60 seconds,” concluded Cllr. Emer Higgins.