Cycle Runs in Ireland / Joining Central European Time
Tuesday, 20 October 2015

During the Order of Business in the Seanad, I said: I was very impressed to read yesterday of the Taoiseach's enthusiasm for cycling and for cycle runs, particularly the one in the midlands. Our attention has been drawn to the opportunities for Ireland in the area. Apparently some 20 million people in Europe cycle and Germany alone has 70,000 km of cycle runs, but we have practically none. We have the opportunity to do something about that and increase our tourism facilities to give those tourists opportunities to do that cycle run. I think particularly of the western rail link that goes from Collooney in County Sligo to Athenry in County Galway...

It is available and would take very little to put it into operation. All it needs is determination and enthusiasm. If we can do that we will be able to benefit tourism to a very large extent.

On this week every year for about 22 years I have stood up here and pointed to something else we could do. Next Sunday let us take the first steps towards joining Central European Time so that we get that extra hour of daylight every evening. It is quite bright now at 4.20 p.m., but it will not be next week. Next week it will be like that at 3.20 p.m. Let us ensure we can do something about that. We do not want to do it on our own; I know an effort has been made to do so. A large number of British Members of Parliament are also enthusiastic about taking that extra hour every evening and doing it for the entire year. The way for us to do that is to join Central European Time. I believe we can do it.

We should not do it on our own because I do not want to see a barrier between Dundalk and Newry or between Belfast and Dublin. There are a sufficient number of people in Britain and Northern Ireland who would say, "That's a step we can take."

It will help our tourism and it will help reduce energy and other costs. More than anything else it will make us all feel better every evening of the year.

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