Independent TD Tommy Broughan is optimistic that his proposal to move Ireland into a different time zone may just go through. He brought the legislation to the Dail some time ago but it's still on the table, according to the TD.
Wait until you hear the name of the bill too - it's called the 'Brighter Evenings Bill’. You know what that means, don't you? We can say 'there's a great stretch in the evening', pretty much all year long!
Basically it would involve moving Ireland into the Central European Time Zone as opposed to what we are currently using which is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) during the winter and ‘Irish Standard Time’ (IST) in the summer. This would involve a trial period of three years whereby the clocks are not put back in October in the first year, and then put forward the following year in March.
The Dublin North-East TD said today; "I was delighted to receive a letter from Minister Fitzgerald recently informing me that although she has no plans to progress the Bill at this stage, she will keep it on the table and it will be revisited in the future along with any plans by the UK to also change their time zone."
Broughan says that more hours of daylight would lead to improved well being and happiness, reduction in crime, improved road safety, economic benefits because of increased opportunities for the tourism and leisure industries, and reduced energy consumption.
That's all well and good as there would indeed be brighter evenings, however it would also mean darker mornings. Ireland and the UK actually already did this experiment for three years between 1968 to 1971, although they went back to GMT afterwards when it was reported as unsafe for children going to school in the dark.
Broughan has said in his website though that; “these potential difficulties could be considered by the independent group of stakeholders established to consider the change. Furthermore, I strongly believe the many benefits to be gained from daylight saving outweigh the potential negative effects of such a move".