Time in Ireland
In Ireland, the Standard Time Act 1968 legally established that the time for general purposes in the State (to be known as standard time) shall be one hour in advance of Greenwich mean time throughout the year.2 This act was amended by the Standard Time (Amendment) Act 1971, which legally established Greenwich Mean Time as a winter time period.1 Ireland operates an hour behind standard time during the winter period, and reverts to standard time in the summer months. This is legally the reverse of daylight saving time as practised by other states in the European Union, but produces the same end result.
Before 1880, the legal time at any place in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was defined as local mean time, as held by the appeal in the 1858 court case Curtis v. March.56 The Statutes (Definition of Time) Act, 1880 defined Dublin Mean Time as the legal time for Ireland. This was the local mean time at Dunsink Observatory outside Dublin, and was about 25 minutes 21 seconds behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which was defined by the same act to be the legal time for Great Britain.578 After the Easter Rising, the time difference between Ireland and Britain was found inconvenient for telegraphic communication and the Time (Ireland) Act, 1916 provided that Irish time would be the same as British time, from 2:00 am Dublin Mean Time on Sunday 1 October 1916.59
After the Irish Free State became independent in 1922, subsequent developments tended to mirror those in the United Kingdom. This avoided having different times on either side of the border with Northern Ireland.310 Summer time (daylight saving time) was provided on a one-off basis by acts in 1923 and 1924,1112 and then on an ongoing basis by the Summer Time Act, 1925.13 The 1925 act provided a default summer time period, which could be varied by ministerial order. Double summer time was considered but not introduced during the Emergency of World War II.1415
From 1968 standard time (GMT+1) was observed all year round, with no winter time change.2 This was an experiment in the run-up to Ireland's 1973 accession to the EEC, and was undone in 1971.1 In those years, time in Ireland was the same as in the six EEC countries, except in the summer in Italy, which switched to Central European Summer Time (CEST). One artefact of the 1968 legislation is that "standard time" (Irish: am caighdeánach16) legally refers to summer time;2 the 1971 act defined a period of time in the winter as "winter time" during which the time observed would be GMT, leaving "standard time" unchanged.1
From the 1980s, the dates of switch between winter and summer time have been synchronised across the European Union.317 Possible adjustments to the Irish practice were discussed by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality in November 2011,18 but the government stated it had no plans to change.10 In November 2012, Tommy Broughan introduced a private member's bill to permit a three-year trial of advancing time by one hour, to CET in winter and CEST in summer.19 Debate on the bill's second stage was adjourned on 5 July 2013, when Alan Shatter, the Minister for Justice and Equality, agreed to refer the matter to the corresponding Oireachtas joint committee for review, and suggested that it consult with the British parliament and devolved assemblies.2021
The statutory instruments (SIs) that have been issued under the Standard Time Acts are listed below, in format year/SI-number, and linking to the Irish Statute Database text of the SI. Except where stated, those issued up to 1967 (under the 1925 Act) were called "Summer Time Order <year>", while those issued from 1981 (under the 1971 Act) are "Winter Time Order <year>".
1926/(unnumbered), 1947/71, 1948/128, 1949/23, 1950/41, 1951/27, 1952/73, 1961/11, 1961/232 (Summer Time (No. 2) Order 1961), 1962/182, 1963/167, 1964/257, 1967/198, 1981/67, 1982/212, 1986/45, 1988/264, 1990/52, 1992/371, 1994/395, 1997/484, 2001/506
Closing time in Irish public houses is half an hour later during summer time (11:30pm instead of 11:00pm).22 Between 1933 and 1961, lighting-up time was an hour before/after sunrise/sunset in summer-time, as opposed to half-an-hour in winter time.23 Since 1961, it has been half-an-hour in all cases. A similar change in the definition of night for aviation was made in 1967.24
- Standard Time (Amendment) Act, 1971
- Standard Time Act, 1968
- "Topical Issue Debate - Daylight Saving Time". Dáil Debates 745 (1). 26 October 2011. p. 19.
- "S.I. No. 506/2001 - Winter Time Order, 2001". 24 October 2001.
- Dyson, Frank Watson (November 1916). "Standard time in Ireland". The Observatory 39: 467–468.
- Whitrow, G. J. (7 December 1989). Time in History: Views of Time from Prehistory to the Present Day. Oxford University Press. pp. 164–165. ISBN 9780192852113. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- Statutes (Definition of Time) Act, 1880 (43 & 44 Vict. c. 9)
- Malone, David. "Dunsink and Timekeeping". Ireland. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- Time (Ireland) Act, 1916 (6 & 7 Geo. 5. c. 45)
- Dáil debates Vol.760 No.3 p.342
- Summer Time Act 1923 Irish Statute Book
- Summer Time Act 1924 Irish Statute Book
- "Summer Time Act, 1925". Irish Statute Book. Ireland: Attorney General. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- Dáil debates Vol.93 No.8 p.11 c.1021 Oireachtas
- Kennedy, Michael J. (30 July 2008). Guarding neutral Ireland: the Coast Watching Service and military intelligence, 1939–1945. Four Courts Press. p. 144. ISBN 9781846820977. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- "Standard time". Focal. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- Seanad debates Vol.111 No.13 p.6 c.1212–14 Oireachtas
- Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality (30 November 2011). "Autumn and Spring Time Adjustments: Discussion". Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- "Brighter Evenings Bill 2012 -PMB- (Bill Number 96 of 2012)". Bills 1992–2012. Oireachtais. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
- "Brighter Evenings Bill – Second Stage". Dáil debates. 5 July 2013. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
- "Writtern Answer No.1096: Daylight Savings". Dáil debates. 18 September 2013. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
- Intoxicating Liquor Act, 1988 §§25,26,28; Intoxicating Liquor Act, 1995 §§4,5. Irish Statute Book.
- Road Traffic Act 1933 §3; repealed by Road Traffic Act 1961
- S.I. No. 272/1967 — Air Navigation (Rules of the Air) (Amendment) (No. 2) Order, 1967