Time in the Republic of Ireland

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Time in Europe:
Light Blue
Western European Time / Greenwich Mean Time (UTC)
Western European Time / Greenwich Mean Time (UTC)
Western European Summer Time / British Summer Time / Irish Standard Time (UTC+1)
Central European Time (UTC+1)
Central European Summer Time (UTC+2)
Eastern European Time / Kaliningrad Time (UTC+2)
Eastern European Time (UTC+2)
Eastern European Summer Time (UTC+3)
Moscow Time / Turkey Time (UTC+3)
Armenia Time / Azerbaijan Time / Georgia Time (UTC+4)
#### Pale colours: Standard time observed all year
### Dark colours: Summer time observed Time Zones of Europe.svg
Time in Europe :
Light Blue Western European Time / Greenwich Mean Time (UTC)
Blue Western European Time / Greenwich Mean Time (UTC)
Western European Summer Time / British Summer Time / Irish Standard Time (UTC+1)
Red Central European Time (UTC+1)
Central European Summer Time (UTC+2)
Yellow Eastern European Time / Kaliningrad Time (UTC+2)
Ochre Eastern European Time (UTC+2)
Eastern European Summer Time (UTC+3)
Green Moscow Time / Turkey Time (UTC+3)
Turquoise Armenia Time / Azerbaijan Time / Georgia Time (UTC+4)
 Pale colours: Standard time observed all year
 Dark colours: Summer time observed

Ireland uses Irish Standard Time (IST, UTC+01:00; Irish : Am Caighdeánach Éireannach) in the summer months and Greenwich Mean Time (UTC+00:00; Meán-Am Greenwich) in the winter period. [1] (Roughly half of the state is in the 7.5°W to 22.5°W sector, half is in the same sector as Greenwich: 7.5°E to 7.5°W).


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 therefore operates one hour behind standard time during the winter period, and reverts to standard time in the summer months. This is defined in contrast to the other states in the European Union, which operate one hour ahead of standard time during the summer period, but produces the same end result.

The instant of transition to and from daylight saving time is synchronised across Europe. In Ireland, winter time begins at 02:00 IST on the last Sunday in October (changing the clocks to 01:00 GMT), and ends at 01:00 GMT on the last Sunday in March (changing to 02:00 IST). [3] [4]

The following table lists recent past and near-future starting and ending dates of Irish Standard Time or Irish Summer Time (use of DST beyond 2019 is under discussion, see below):

201931 March27 October
202029 March25 October
202128 March31 October
202227 March30 October
202326 March29 October
202431 March27 October
202530 March26 October
202629 March25 October


Time (Ireland) Act 1916 Time (Ireland) Act 1916.jpg
Time (Ireland) Act 1916

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 of Curtis v. March. [5] [6] [7] 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. [6] [8] [9] 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. [6] [10] Summer time (daylight saving time) had been introduced in May 1916 across the United Kingdom as a temporary efficiency measure for the First World War, and the changeover from Dublin time to Greenwich time was simultaneous with the changeover from summer time to winter time. [11] John Dillon opposed the first reading of the Time (Ireland) Bill for having been introduced without consultation of the Irish Parliamentary Party; he said the different time in Ireland "reminds us that we are coming into a strange country". [11] [12] T. M. Healy opposed the second reading on the basis that "while the Daylight Saving Bill added to the length of your daylight, this Bill adds to the length of your darkness". [13]

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. [3] [14] Summer time was provided on a one-off basis by acts in 1923 and 1924, [15] [16] and then on an ongoing basis by the Summer Time Act, 1925. [17] 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. [18] [19] As a consequence, following the introduction of double summer time in the United Kingdom in 1940, Northern Ireland was one hour ahead of the Republic of Ireland throughout the year until the UK returned to GMT in the autumn of 1947. [20]

From 1968 standard time (GMT+01:00) 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" 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. [3] [21]


The statutory instruments (SIs) that have been issued under the Standard Time Acts are listed below, in the 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

Possible changes

Possible adjustments to the Irish practice were discussed by the Oireachtas joint committee on Justice, Defence and Equality in November 2011, [22] but the government stated it had no plans to change. [14] 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. [23] 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 joint committee for review, and suggested that it consult with the British parliament and devolved assemblies. [24] [25] In July 2014, the joint committee issued an invitation for submissions on the bill. [26]

On 8 February 2018, the European Parliament voted to ask the European Commission to re-evaluate the principle of Summer Time in Europe. [27] After a web survey showing high support for not switching clocks twice annually, [28] on 12 September 2018 the European Commission decided to propose that an end be put to seasonal clock changes (repealing Directive 2000/84/EC) [29] In order for this to be valid, the European Union legislative procedure must be followed, mainly that the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament must both approve the proposal. The United Kingdom left the EU on 31 January 2020 and, if the UK does not follow the reform and continues to operate summer/winter time, Northern Ireland will have a one-hour time difference for half the year either with the rest of Ireland or with the United Kingdom. [30] As this would add a further complication to the Irish border question, [30] it remains to be seen what action the Irish Government would take should this happen. The Department of Justice and Equality ran a consultation on seasonal clock changes in November 2018. [31] As of September 2018, the UK Government "has no plans" to end daylight saving. [32] In July 2019, the Minister for Justice and Equality announced that while there was support for ending daylight saving time, the proposal was not straightforward and Ireland would oppose the end of seasonal clock changes. [33] At the same time, a report of an interdepartmental working group on the proposal was published, along with submissions to the consultation on seasonal clock changes.

Seán Kelly, MEP, has been lobbying to end the bi-annual clock change in the EU, [34] but is in favour of Ireland adopting year round summertime or Central European Time instead of its present, closer to solar time, Western European Time. [35]

Other laws

Closing time in Irish public houses was half an hour later during summer time (23:30 instead of 23:00). [36] In 2000, the closing time hours were simplified by removing summer/winter time changes. [37] 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. [38] 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. [39]

IANA time zone database

The IANA time zone database contains one zone for Ireland in the file zone.tab, named Europe/Dublin. [40]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Greenwich Mean Time</span> Time zone of western Europe, same as WET

Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is the mean solar time at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London, counted from midnight. At different times in the past, it has been calculated in different ways, including being calculated from noon; as a consequence, it cannot be used to specify a particular time unless a context is given. The term 'GMT' is also used as one of the names for the time zone UTC+00:00 and, in UK law, is the basis for civil time in the United Kingdom.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Time zone</span> Area that observes a uniform standard time

A time zone is an area which observes a uniform standard time for legal, commercial and social purposes. Time zones tend to follow the boundaries between countries and their subdivisions instead of strictly following longitude, because it is convenient for areas in frequent communication to keep the same time.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Daylight saving time</span> Seasonal adjustment of clocks

Daylight saving time (DST), also referred to as daylight savings time or simply daylight time, and summer time, is the practice of advancing clocks during warmer months so that darkness falls at a later clock time. The typical implementation of DST is to set clocks forward by one hour in the spring, and to set clocks back by one hour in autumn to return to standard time. As a result, there is one 23-hour day in late winter or early spring and one 25-hour day in autumn.

Western European Summer Time is a summer daylight saving time scheme, 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and Coordinated Universal Time. It is used in:

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Western European Time</span> Time zone in Europe: UTC±00:00

Western European Time is a time zone covering parts of western Europe and consists of countries using UTC±00:00. It is one of the three standard time zones in the European Union along with Central European Time and Eastern European Time.

Summer time in Europe is the variation of standard clock time that is applied in most European countries in the period between spring and autumn, during which clocks are advanced by one hour from the time observed in the rest of the year, with a view to making the most efficient use of seasonal daylight. It corresponds to the notion and practice of daylight saving time (DST) to be found in many other parts of the world.

Time in New Zealand is divided by law into two standard time zones. The main islands use New Zealand Standard Time (NZST), 12 hours in advance of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) / military M (Mike), while the outlying Chatham Islands use Chatham Standard Time (CHAST), 12 hours 45 minutes in advance of UTC / military M^ (Mike-Three).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">British Summer Time</span> Identifier for a time offset from UTC of +1

During British Summer Time (BST), civil time in the United Kingdom is advanced one hour forward of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), in effect changing the time zone from UTC±00:00 to UTC+01:00, so that mornings have one hour less daylight, and evenings one hour more.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Israel Summer Time</span> Identifier for a time offset from UTC of +03:00

Israel Summer Time, also in English, Israel Daylight Time (IDT) is the practice in Israel by which clocks are advanced by one hour, beginning on the Friday before the last Sunday of March, and ending on the last Sunday of October.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Time in Australia</span> Time zones in Australia

Australia uses three main time zones: Australian Western Standard Time, Australian Central Standard Time, and Australian Eastern Standard Time. Time is regulated by the individual state governments, some of which observe daylight saving time (DST). Australia's external territories observe different time zones.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Time in Canada</span> Time zones of Canada

Time in Canada, by regional law, is divided into six standard time zones covering the country's provinces and territories. Most regions operate on standard time from the first Sunday in November to the second Sunday in March and daylight saving time the rest of the year.

The United Kingdom uses Greenwich Mean Time or Western European Time (UTC) and British Summer Time or Western European Summer Time (UTC+01:00).

Malaysian Standard Time or Malaysian Time (MYT) is the standard time used in Malaysia. It is 8 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The local mean time in Kuala Lumpur was originally GMT+06:46:46. Peninsular Malaysia used this local mean time until 1 January 1901, when they changed to Singapore mean time GMT+06:55:25. Between the end of the Second World War and the formation of Malaysia on 16 September 1963, it was known as British Malayan Standard Time, which was GMT+07:30. At 2330 hrs local time of 31 December 1981, people in Peninsular Malaysia adjusted their clocks and watches ahead by 30 minutes to become 00:00 hours local time of 1 January 1982, to match the time in use in East Malaysia, which is UTC+08:00. SGT (Singapore) followed on and uses the same until now.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">UTC±00:00</span> Identifier for the UTC +0 offset

UTC±00:00 is an identifier for a time offset from UTC of +00:00. In ISO 8601, an example of the associated time would be written as 2019-02-07T23:28:34+00:00. It is also known by the following geographical or historical names:

UTC−00:25:21 is an identifier for a time offset from UTC of −00:25:21.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Time in Saskatchewan</span> Time in Saskatchewan

The Canadian province of Saskatchewan is geographically located in the Mountain Time Zone (GMT−07:00). However, most of the province observes Central Standard Time (CST) (GMT−06:00) year-round. As a result, it is effectively on daylight saving time (DST) year-round, as clocks are not turned back an hour in autumn when most jurisdictions return to standard time.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Time in Spain</span> Time zones in Spain

Spain has two time zones and observes daylight saving time. Spain mainly uses Central European Time (GMT+01:00) and Central European Summer Time (GMT+02:00) in Peninsular Spain, the Balearic Islands, Ceuta, Melilla and plazas de soberanía. In the Canary Islands, the time zone is Western European Time (GMT±00:00) and Western European Summer Time (GMT+01:00). Daylight saving time is observed from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October throughout Spain.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Time in the Danish Realm</span> Time zones of Denmark and its dependencies

Denmark, including the dependencies Faroe Islands and Greenland, uses six time zones.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Winter time (clock lag)</span> Aspect of daylight saving time

Winter time is the practice of shifting the clock back during winter months, usually −1 hour. It is a form of daylight saving time which is the opposite compensation to the summer time. However, while summer time is widely applied, use of winter time has been and is very rare.

Time in the Kingdom of the Netherlands is denoted by Central European Time (CET) during the winter as standard time in the Netherlands, which is one hour ahead of coordinated universal time (UTC+01:00), and Central European Summer Time (CEST) during the summer as daylight saving time, which is two hours ahead of coordinated universal time (UTC+02:00). The Caribbean Netherlands – which consist of the islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba – all observe Atlantic Standard Time (AST) year-round, which is four hours behind coordinated universal time (UTC−04:00).


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  2. 1 2 3 Standard Time Act, 1968
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  4. "S.I. No. 506/2001 – Winter Time Order, 2001". 24 October 2001.
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  14. 1 2 Dáil debates Vol.760 No.3 p.342
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  27. "EU Parliament Votes to Re-Evaluate DST in Europe". www.timeanddate.com.
  28. Summertime Consultation: 84% want Europe to stop changing the clock
  29. State of the Union 2018: Q&A on the Commission's proposal to put an end to seasonal clock changes European Commission − Press Release (Strasbourg, 12 September 2018)
  30. 1 2 EU daylight saving switch could leave Northern Ireland out of step with rest of UK
  31. "Consultation on Seasonal Clock Changes". www.justice.ie.
  32. Northern Ireland won't change time zone to suit the EU, say unionists   Belfast Telegraph, 1 September 2018
  33. "Ireland to oppose ending of seasonal clock changes". www.justice.ie.
  34. “High time to end bi-annual clock change” – MEP Kelly
  35. Keep summer time year round: MEP Kelly
  36. Intoxicating Liquor Act, 1988 §§25,26,28 Archived 22 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine ; Intoxicating Liquor Act, 1995 §§4,5. Irish Statute Book.
  37. Intoxicating Liquor Act, 2000 §§2. Irish Statute Book.
  38. Road Traffic Act 1933 §3; repealed by Road Traffic Act 1961
  39. S.I. No. 272/1967 — Air Navigation (Rules of the Air) (Amendment) (No. 2) Order, 1967
  40. Europe (2020 edition) at the tz database. Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). Retrieved 20 May 2021.