25 March 2023
By Mary Bermingham
Time to reconsider European Parliament vote to scrap seasonal clock changes – says Farmer and Senator
It’s time to reconsider the European Parliament vote to scrap seasonal clock changes, a Fine Gael Senator has said.
Senator Tim Lombard said the bi-annual time change brings winter in overnight and postpones summer for a month every spring, with negative impacts for farmers, elderly people and those with health difficulties.
Senator Lombard said: “Our neighbours across the rest of Europe were very clear in their view in 2018 during the most successful EU consultation ever with 4.6 million people participating.
“An overwhelming majority of participants, 84% in fact, voted to stop the seasonal clock changes with negative health impacts, sleep disruption and inconvenience among the main reasons for ending the twice yearly time change.
“I think it’s fair to say that people appreciate the benefits of longer days and brighter evenings for family, social and leisure activities in the busy world we live in these days.”
Senator Lombard continued: “In 2019, the European Parliament voted to remove daylight energy saving time permanently. The initial plan was to stop seasonal time changes after spring 2021, but this was put on ice due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“There’s no doubt that the political situation on this island requires consideration before such a change and as with many aspects of life, Brexit has added another complication.
“But equally, the decision made by an overwhelming majority of people in the EU for very good reasons needs proper consideration.
“The way we live has changed radically since seasonal clocks changes were introduced. The disruption and impact to health and well-being when clocks change is felt by many.
“As a farmer and a parent of young children, I see the benefits that brighter evenings bring at home and in my work. The practice of adjusting the clock twice a year seems out of step with the world we live in today.
“For me, the most significant negative is that the seasonal clock change brings winter in overnight and postpones summer for a month every spring.
“This puts additional pressures on farmers, elderly people and those with health difficulties. More animals are killed on the roads and there is an impact on farmers milking cows.
“It makes the nights extremely long and lonely for elderly people or those with mental health difficulties. An extra hour of daylight in the evening would be far more beneficial to people.
“We live in a different world now and it may be time to accept that the seasonal clock change has outlived its usefulness,” Senator Lombard concluded.