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Daylight Saving difficulties
'"Saving daylight!" Sign and mail one of these post cards to your congressman at Washington and help make it a national law to set the clock one hour ahead.' A poster from 1918 encouraging the public to write to their representative about Daylight Saving Photo: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. USA

Daylight Saving difficulties

Dublin, 20 February 1918 - Concerns about the impact of Daylight Saving on agricultural communities have not gone away.

The most recent issues stem from the fact that the Agricultural Wages Board has decided that the normal working day should end at 7pm and that all hours worked subsequently will have to be counted as overtime.

Some commentators argue that this provision, combined with the introduction of Daylight Saving Time and the fact that Ireland now operates on Greenwich Time rather than Dublin Time, means that the agricultural working day now must end at what, before 1916, would have been 5.35pm instead of 6pm each day. This leaves employers with the choice between missing out on almost two and half hours labour per week, or incurring the added expenditure of overtime wages.

One suggestion put forward has been to allow a commission of astronomers to devise a seasonal schedule to allow for maximum advantage to be extracted from the hours of sunlight. This would presumably involve two or three changes in clock time during the year.

Another proposal, put forward by the Irish Times, is to establish a body consisting of representatives of the Department of Agriculture, the Chambers of Commerce and of urban and rural labour – to examine how the opposing interests of town and country peoples might be reconciled.

The introduction of summer time to Ireland last year was resisted by many politicians and high-ranking members of the Irish Catholic Church.

[Editor's note: This is an article from Century Ireland, a fortnightly online newspaper, written from the perspective of a journalist 100 years ago, based on news reports of the time.]


Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.