When are the clocks going forward this weekend? Or is it back? Here’s everything you need to know

Every year, the clocks change on the last Sunday in March and October. Picture: Reuters

Seoirse Mulgrew

It’s that time of year again when people across the country look forward to enjoying brighter evenings as the summer months draw closer.

The clocks are set to change this weekend. Here’s everything you need to know.

When do the clocks change?

The clocks will go forward by one hour at 1am on Sunday, March 26. So unless your clock does this automatically, if you’re still up at that time, you change your clock from 1am to 2am, or do it before you go to bed.

Either way, this all means you will get an hour less sleep.

Every year, the clocks change on the last Sunday in March and October.

They will then go back by one hour at 2am on Sunday, October 29, when you get the hour back again. The system called daylight saving time in the US or summer time in the EU and Britain, can be remembered using the phrase ‘spring forward, fall back’.

Why are the seasonal changes still happening?

As it stands under EU law, the clocks in all member states change at the same time.

In 2019, the European Parliament voted in favour of ending seasonal time changes, but EU institutions have not made progress on implementing the decision, and the European Commission has said that it does not plan to submit a new proposal on the matter to the Parliament.

This means that no changes are expected to summer and wintertime in the coming years.

The Department of Justice had previously outlined concerns about having two different time zones on the island of Ireland as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

Why do the clocks go back?

The clocks change in order to make the best use of the natural light.

In winter, the clocks go back by an hour, providing people with more sunlight in the morning and an extra hour in bed.

However, in summer, the clocks go forward an hour. which allows us to enjoy brighter evenings.

How long has this been happening?

The idea of British Summer Time (BST) was first proposed in the UK in 1907 by William Willett.

Mr Willett felt that valuable daylight was being wasted and wanted more time to enjoy the outdoors in the evenings.

He published a pamphlet called The Waste of Daylight, in which he outlined his plans to change the time of the nation’s clocks.

But when he died in 1915 the government still hadn’t backed BST.

It wasn’t until a year later, in May 1916, that Britain passed the Summer Time Act and started changing its clocks twice a year. Ireland followed suit.