MEPs urge Minister Flanagan to support end to biannual clock change – Seán Kelly

Seán Kelly MEP and Ireland’s only Member of the European Parliament Working Group on the bi-annual Clock Change has written to Minister Charlie Flanagan alongside his European Parliament colleague Pavel Svoboda MEP, Chair of the Parliamentary Working Group on Clock Change, to urge him to support their bid to keep Daylight Savings Time (summer time) all year round.

In a letter sent to Minister Flanagan (attached), Mr Kelly states that he has been campaigning for the last nine years to keep summer time all year round:

“The issue has a major impact on our citizens as shown in the recent public consultation on daylight savings time, which received 4.6 million responses – the highest ever engagement for an EU public consultation.

“EU citizens gave overwhelming support for the abolishment of the biannual clock change,” they said referring to the 84 percent of respondents who favour scrapping the biannual clock change.

“The disruption caused by the clock change has a detrimental impact on human health, according to a number of studies. It can lead to weakened immunity and sleeping patterns and in cases, increased anxiety and depression. Reports have shown that it even has a negative impact on tiredness in drivers, increasing the risk of accidents,” they underlined.

The MEPs called for Minister Flanagan’s support ahead of the Council meeting later this month on the legislative proposal.

In their letter, Mr Kelly and Mr Svoboda added that they were “very pleased” to learn of the Irish government’s decision to launch a public consultation on the issue in Ireland.

“I would further encourage the government to carry out the Irish public consultation on clock change quickly, so we can get a clearer picture of the Irish viewpoint without delay,” Mr Kelly added, speaking from Strasbourg today (Thursday).

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