Sunday 18 February 2018

We're turning the clocks back this weekend - but here's why one Irish MEP believes we should stop Daylight Savings

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MEP Deirdre Clune.
MEP Deirdre Clune.
Daire Courtney

Daire Courtney

An Irish MEP has called for the end of Daylight Savings Time in the European parliament.

The clocks go back at 2am tomorrow morning, restoring normal time by giving back the hour that was put forward in March.

But an Irish MEP has argued that the clocks should not go forward again next year.

Deirdre Clune, Member of the European Parliament for Ireland South, has said that removing Daylight Savings could promote safety on Irish roads and benefit people’s health.

“Brighter evenings would lead to improved outcomes for road safety as the roads are more dangerous from the hours of 4-7pm.

"There are obvious economic benefits such as reduced energy consumption because of less need for artificial light in the evenings with a consequent reduction in CO2 emissions," she said.

“Brighter evenings would have a positive benefit for public health.

"One study of 23,000 children, published by the BBC, found that their daily activity levels were 15 to 20 per cent higher on summer days than winter days and that moving the clocks back causes a five per cent drop in physical activity.”

Scientists speaking at a conference in Brussels earlier this month claimed that the bi-annual Daylight Savings switch is damaging to people’s health, does not save energy and may cost the European economy as much as €300 billion a year.

Originally called British Summer Time in the UK, Daylight Savings Time was introduced in 1916 in an effort to save on coal consumption during the war.

Proponents argued that the bright mornings were wasted and that this encouraged more fuel use in the evenings.

However, a number of studies have suggested that the energy savings are negligible or even non-existent, leaving people to wonder why we make the difficult adjustment twice a year.

Turkey has switched to summer time permanently and will not be putting its clocks back tomorrow; this means that time differences between Ireland and Turkey will change during the year, and may increase permanently if we abolish Daylight Savings.

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