08/07/2013

Time Zone Split For Ireland?

The island of Ireland could be split into two different time zones, following the debate of a Brighter Evenings Bill in the Dáil.

TDs are debating whether or not to introduce a measure in the Republic of Ireland that would see clocks move an hour forward; putting them out of sync with Northern Ireland.

Those in favour argue that the move could help reduce road traffic accidents and death, improve health and reduce energy costs.

Minister of Justice Alan Shatter told the Dáil there would need to be consultation with Northern Ireland, Great Britain and the rest of Europe before such a bill could be passed.

Sinn Féin Deputy and spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Michael Colreavy said there could not be two time zones on the island of Ireland.

Speaking in the Dáil, he said: "The major reason we cannot adopt this piece of legislation at the moment is the fact that we cannot have a different time zone in the 26 counties and six counties.

"It would make absolutely no sense to adopt a different time zone in the south to that in the north. Can you imagine a situation existing where Donegal would have a different time zone to Derry, Fermanagh having a different time zone to Leitrim?

"It would have an adverse effect on business north and south of the border, impact on education and become a general nuisance for people living near the border. We need to have greater harmonisation north and south rather than creating further difficulties

"I welcome that Minister Shatter recognises this reality and that government will not move to adopt this legislation without an all-island focus."

(IT/CD)

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