They’re changing our Time – Shouldn’t we have a say?

Watercolour by Eoin Mac Lochlainn for Deireadh Fómhair
Cosán Coille no. 2, watercolour on Arches paper, 2018

It’s got dark suddenly, or so it seems. We’re back in winter time, ie: Greenwich Mean Time or GMT.

This is the real time. In Spring, we move the clocks forward one hour and then, we return them to GMT in the Autumn. There’s a good reason for this but now they’re talking of changing it and I’m not one bit happy about it. Let me explain…

In Wintertime it gets dark around 5pm and it gets bright at about 8am. Nothing can be done about this because of where we are positioned on the globe (ie way up north).

If we were to leave the time the same all year round, then during the high Summer it would get dark around 9pm and get bright around 3am in the morning. Instead, we move the clock forward every Summer so that it stays bright an hour later in the evening and it doesn’t get bright so early in the morning (while most people are still sleeping).

Cosán Coille no. 3, watercolour by Eoin Mac Lochlainn
Cosán Coille no. 4, watercolour on Arches paper, 2018

So it makes good sense to move the clock forward because people are more likely to stay outdoors longer in the evening (and not switch on their electric lights, therefore using less energy). And most people do not get up before 4 or 5am in the morning to avail of the free daylight.

You can read all about it on the website of the Department of Justice here

But now, the EU is planning to change all this. Did you know about that? – I didn’t – until late last week. But there is something you can do.  Until the 30th of November, 2018, there’s a survey you can fill in on the Department of Justice website here 

Summertime and the living is easier

So just to re-iterate – If we continue the practice of changing the time forward and back, we save energy. This is good – why would anyone want to change that?  But if we must change, then let’s vote to stay in Summertime, for the sake of our beleaguered planet.

watercolour by Eoin Mac Lochlainn
Cosán Coille no. 6, watercolour on Arches Paper, 2018

It seems to me that nobody has given this more than a passing thought – and then, they’ll all blame the EU when they eventually realise that they have to switch on the electric lights an hour earlier in the evening.

And there’s 741 million people in Europe – Imagine if they all switch on their electric lights an hour earlier – can you imagine the amount of extra electricity for that! Even with the latest energy-saving light bulbs, that’s still an awful lot of electricity. What a waste!

The paintings above, by the way, are all from my current solo exhibition at the Olivier Cornet Gallery (which looks at the importance of trees to our living planet).

This show continues until the 25th of November.  It was reviewed by Aidan Dunne, art critic with the Irish Times, who gave it 4 Stars!  You can read the review here  (the second half of the article deals with my show)

Aidan Dunne review





  1. We have that also, though the EU is not planning to change anything here. We’re really at the mercy of what happens in the US – and much more than in dealing with Standard Time and Daylight Saving Time.
    I love these paintings, and particularly Cosán Coille no. 2


  2. Yes we should have a say. I like your idea of saving all that electricity. But Eoin, a few weeks ago your gave the opinion that reporters no longer traipse around the world to get our news and I do not think that is quite right. Did you know that there are an average of three journalist a day liquidated ? I heard that on the radio and I suppose it needs to be checked out. I often see our Canadian news reporters in awfully dangerous places in Syria and the Sudan. I think art has always played a big part in the stories of war and discovery.

    Pleased to see your current exhibit is being so well received. Love Charlotte


    • Yes Charlotte, I agree that it has become much more dangerous for the brave journalists who still go out to find and bring back the news. There’s not as many of them these days, I think. A lot of the “news” these days is just two or three panelists talking to each other about their opinions. Thanks for your time, best wishes, eoin


  3. Thanks for your blog post on the Summer/Winter time change – for trying to make a positive impact through your words and your art. As a poet, I seriously question our ability as artists to influence such important matters as climate change. I guess it’s a question of baby steps all the way – “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield”, as Tennyson urged in his wonderful poem ‘Ulysses’. I love the Olivier Cornet Gallery and will call in at the weekend to see your work. Good luck with the show!


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