Michael Staines
Michael Staines

10.04 13 Oct 2020


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There are calls to cancel the clocks going back this year to make the winter easier as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

The Social Democrats are urging the Government to keep the country on summer time so people can enjoy brighter evenings over the coming months.

It comes as plans to end the annual clock change appear to have stalled at EU level.

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The European Parliament voted to bin daylight savings altogether in March 2019; however, the decision still has to be ratified by member states and the European Council.

Call to cancel winter clock change to lift coronavirus blues

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On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Social Democrats co-leader Roisin Shortall said she brought up the matter at a meeting with health officials and members of Cabinet yesterday.

“People are finding it really difficult now going into the winter – colder weather making doing things outdoors much more difficult and that,” she said.

“People are under a lot of strain and there was mention that things are going to get more difficult at the end of the month when the clocks go back and we go into winter time.

“I just suggested to the Taoiseach that he consider not putting the clocks back because, under new arrangements next year, we are not going to be doing it anyway."

Shortall Social Democrats Co-leader Roisin Shortall at the formal launch of the party’s GE20 campaign, 16-01-2020. Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews

She noted that some other countries have already ended the practice of changing clocks on a seasonal basis and said Ireland should consider it this year “in order to have that bit more daylight in the evening time.”

“I think it would help people,” she said. “Help older people who are living alone.

“The longer the day, the more light we have in the afternoon and evening, the better. It also would facilitate people getting out for exercise and generally maybe lift the move a little bit.”

She said the Taoiseach agreed to consider the proposal.

Under the EU plans to end daylight savings, the last clock change was due in Spring 2021; however, the proposal has taken a back seat as countries get to grips with the coronavirus.

Ireland has already warned that it will fight the proposal – because a public consultation here found that 82% of people would oppose having a different time zone to Northern Ireland.

Call to cancel winter clock change to lift coronavirus blues

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

   


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