Winter Time is still darkening our doors
With a deadening effect the statement arrived, as ever, from the Minister for Justice this weekend: "Winter Time will commence at 1am on Sunday. Clocks and watches should be put back one hour at that time. Winter Time will end at 1am on Sunday, March 26, 2017." Five long months of winter ahead then. "The world is suddener than we fancy it," as the great Irish poet Louis MacNeice wrote.
There has been occasional debate as to whether these arrangements should be reconsidered. This week, Fine Gael MEP Sean Kelly joined an EU-level bid to end what he called the "nonsensical" biannual time change, known as Daylight Saving Time. He backed a resolution, co-signed by 40 MEPs, calling for the EU to end the "archaic" fall back, spring forward time changes for health and safety reasons.
We are not so sure. As the essayist Thomas De Quincey wrote, surely everyone is aware of the divine pleasures which attend a wintry fireside; candles at four o'clock, warm hearthrugs, tea, a fair tea-maker, shutters closed, curtains flowing in ample draperies to the floor, while the wind and rain are raging audibly without. So, perhaps Kelly and his fellow MEPs should hasten a little more slowly. A compromise might be more suitable, as proposed by the redoubtable Independent TD Tommy Broughan, who has had a Brighter Evenings Bill before Dail Eireann since 2012.