The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD has announced that Ireland will oppose the EU proposal to end seasonal clock changes.
An Interdepartmental Steering Group which included public consultation, made recommendations to the Government not to support any proposal which could result in different time zones on the island of Ireland and disruption to the EU Single Market.
Minister Flanagan said: “While I acknowledge that many favours ending the practice of seasonal clock changes, the proposal is not a straightforward one.”
“It would be profoundly serious if two different time zones were to exist on the island of Ireland, creating significant unnecessary problems for people living on the border and for the all-island economy.
“I am heartened to note that the Government’s decision today is in agreement with 82% of the public in a representative opinion poll held as part of the consultative process.”
In order to gauge the opinion of the Irish public, industry and other stakeholder groups the Department‘s public consultation process comprised an opinion poll, a public survey and submissions from key stakeholder groups.
The opinion poll - conducted by Amárach Research - included a sample of 1,000 respondents aligned with the national population. Over 16,000 responses were received for the survey and over 50 submissions were made by key stakeholders.
The consultation highlighted that the public would generally favour brighter evenings in winter. However, 82% of those surveyed in the Amárach poll were not in favour of any measure that resulted in different time zones on the island. Other stakeholders submissions
raised concerns around agriculture, education, health, tourism, trade, utility costs and transport schedules.