THE man who managed to get rugby and soccer games into Croke Park during his tenure as president of the GAA, now an MEP for Ireland South, Seán Kelly, has a much bigger battle on his hands trying to get Daylight Savings Time scrapped so as to retain summer time all year round. However, despite his best efforts to date, clocks go back an hour this Sunday morning for winter time.
Ireland’s only member of the European Parliament’s working group on the bi-annual clock change, Mr Kelly has been campaigning for the best part of a decade to scrap Daylight Savings Time. Two years ago, they came very close to achieving that goal when an EU-wide public consultation on the matter achieved the highest-ever response to such a consultation, with 4.6 million engagements and 84% of those in favour ending the bi-annual clock change.
However, they are still waiting for EU member states to take a formal position on the matter in the European Council. It was kicked to touch after the public consultation mainly because of Brexit and the prospect of the UK remaining in a different time zone to the EU for five months of every year, which would affect Northern Ireland and the Republic too.
Obviously achieving a trade deal between the EU and UK is a more immediate priority, but Sean Kelly has urged European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, to reignite efforts towards scrapping Daylight Savings Time, citing studies that have shown that the disruption caused by the clock change has a detrimental impact on our health, both mental and physical.