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Ireland Considers Central European Time

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Published 23-Oct-2009

Ireland’s Energy Minister Eamon Ryan recently called for research on the benefits of Ireland adopting the Central European time zone. The minister also suggested that such a proposal could apply to the United Kingdom too.

Front view of Department of the Taoiseach, Merrion Street, Dublin, Ireland

There is talk of research into the possibility of having places in Ireland, including Dublin (pictured above), follow the Central European time zone in the future.

©iStockphoto.com/Thomas Becker

Ireland’s Time Zone

Ireland currently observes Irish Summer Time (IST during daylight saving time (DST), which is one hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), or UTC+1. Ireland has no UTC offset during the non-daylight saving period.

If Ireland’s clocks were to permanently move one hour forward in the future, Ireland would be on Central European Time (CET), which is UTC+1, in the non-daylight saving period and Central European Summer Time (CEST), which is UTC+2, during DST.

Call for Research

Ireland’s Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Eamon Ryan, publicly announced that he would consider the possibility of the Republic of Ireland turning the clocks one hour ahead to the Central European time zone. He also hinted that such a proposal could also apply to the United Kingdom.

Mr Ryan called for research to shed light on the advantages and disadvantages of Ireland adopting the Central European time zone. He said that it was “a very interesting proposal, worthy of consideration and Irish-based research” (cited in IOL News Headlines: Ryan backs research into Ireland joining European central time).

Officials in his departments stressed all research carried out to date was from the US or mainland Europe. They warned global differences in sunlight would have to be taken into account before any such moves in Ireland. They also said the idea appeared to make sense for peak time energy use, but the effect on the morning hours would have to be closely measured.

There have been talks in previous years for the United Kingdom and the island of Jersey, which is a parliamentary democracy that is a dependency of the British Crown, to move to the CET in the non-daylight saving period and CEST in the daylight saving period. For example, a referendum was held in Jersey in 2008 but most people voted against this proposal.

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