The Irish Department of Justice and Equality have launched a consultation to find out what people think of abolishing the twice a year hour change, south of the border as well as thoughts on the idea of two different time zones on the island of Ireland.

The potential of difficulties for businesses dealing cross border or members of the public travelling down to Dundalk or Omeath leads to the question in the survey "What would your opinion be if this proposal were to give rise to different time zones between Ireland and Northern Ireland?"

While choosing if you want to abolish the hour change, residents are also asked whether they want to stay in summer time or winter time, Choosing summer time means brighter evenings, with darker mornings in the winter than we currently experience.Choosing winter time means brighter mornings, with darker evenings in the summer than we currently experience.

With proposed changes it would be possible to be in Dundalk half an hour before you left Newry! Photograph: Columba O'Hare/
With proposed changes it would be possible to be in Dundalk half an hour before you left Newry! Photograph: Columba O'Hare/

EU legislation on summer time was first introduced in 1980, with the objective of ensuring that all countries within the single market made these clock changes at the same time.  Since 2001 all Member States switch to ‘summer time’ on the last Sunday of March and to switch back to their ‘winter time’ on the last Sunday of October.

Following an EU-wide public consultation to gather citizens’ views on the seasonal clock changes, the EU Commission has concluded that the majority of people who responded are in favour of abolishing the twice-yearly clock change and have put forward a proposal to give effect to this.

The department points out "It is important to acknowledge that if the UK were to adopt a different position, this would present particular challenges for the island of Ireland. Any position adopted by Ireland will be informed by this important consideration."

Individuals, businesses and organisations in Ireland and Northern Ireland can have their say by visiting or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The closing date for the consultation is Friday 30th November 2018.

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