With our clocks due to go forward this weekend, we are all looking forward to longer evenings. David Stanton, Fine Gael TD for Cork East believes serious consideration should be given to extending summertime all year round.
“For quite a number of years, I have been calling for a review of our clock changing arrangements with a view to either moving the clocks forward a bit earlier and back a bit later in the year or extending summertime all year round. Studies suggest that longer evenings benefit tourism, farmers, retailers and the sports and leisure industry. In addition to improving road safety, brighter evenings have also been proven to benefit people’s mental health,” said Deputy Stanton.
“I know that in the UK, which is in the same time zone as Ireland, clock changes have been discussed and the matter was debated in the UK parliament recently. We, in Ireland, can’t make changes on our own.
“Our summertime arrangements have been agreed with the European Union since 1981 as a means to standardise time changes to improve trade and transport across the EU. I wrote the previous Government a number of times seeking an extension of summertime and as Chair of the Oireachtas Justice Committee I also organised hearings as a means of promoting debate on the issue.
“At my request, my Fine Gael colleagues in Europe also raised the matter in the European Parliament. However, I understand the European Union recently conducted a review of clock changes a few years ago seeking opinions from Member States and as result decided to retain the current arrangements.
“With the European Elections due to take place on 23rd May for a new European Parliament, I believe it would be an opportune time for our 11 newly elected MEPS and the new Commission to examine this issue again.