Have your say on daylight saving time
Sir, – Bits of morning toast bounced off my digital copy of The Irish Times as I read Kathy Sheridan’s (inadvertent) eulogy of darker winter mornings (Opinion, November 28th).
She wants us to stop changing the clocks twice a year. I don’t.
The current arrangements give us the best of both worlds; longer summer evenings and a little bit of morning light at this gloomy, depressing time of the year.
Since she has conflated it with Brexit, why on earth would we create a temporal hard border having spent two years arguing against one? Calling darker winter mornings “brighter evenings” sounds like a sales pitch of which a Brexiteer would be proud.
I really, really don’t want mornings to be an hour darker at this time of year. Keep clock arrangements as they are. No temporal border between Castleblayney and Crossmaglen! – Yours, etc,
Sir, – The European Commission has asked the member states to carry out consultations about whether to continue with the practice of Daylight Saving Time (DST). In Ireland the Department of Justice is soliciting feedback until November 30th, at http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/Consultation_on_Seasonal_Clock_Changes
There seems to be strong support for dropping the practice, including in your pages from Kathy Sheridan (Opinion, November 28th), and for switching to permanent summer time in Ireland.
I think this would be a very bad idea.
While GMT+1 (permanent summer time) would preserve our long evenings in early/mid summer, it would mean a long winter of dark mornings.
In fact, in Limerick city, where I live, GMT+1 would mean 87 mornings per year where sunrise is after 9am. As a comparison, Helsinki, Europe’s most northerly capital, currently experiences 50 mornings a year with sunrise after 9am. The number of mornings with sunrise after 9am under permanent summer time varies between 75 (in south-east Wexford) and 99 (in Belmullet), with Dublin at 80.
At present, only the western edges of Mayo and Donegal experience any days with sunrise so late, and then only for a brief period.
Dark mornings are a serious impediment to active transport, particularly for school kids.
The practice of DST creates two annual inconveniences of changing clocks (with the additional pain of losing an hour’s sleep in spring), but it yields longer summer evenings without the penalty of excessively dark winter mornings.
Switching is better than dark winter mornings (GMT+1) or sleeping through an extra hour of daylight all summer (GMT+0).
As someone who remembers being in primary school the last time this was tried, and who remembers the government issuing me with a reflective armband so I could get to school safely, I think we’re far better off sticking with the clock changes.
For more information, including a table of the number of days of sunrise after 9am for each primary school in the country, please see http://teaching.sociology.ul.ie/bhalpin/ wordpress/ ?p=529 and a clickable map at http://teaching.sociology.ul.ie/bhalpin/dst/primary.html. – Yours, etc,
Department of Sociology,
University of Limerick.