I had to pick up this postcard recently. The stereotypical Oirishman is shown infuriated by the display of two clocks in the window of a business premises, one of which displays the time in ‘Dublin Time’ while the other shows ‘London Time’. Underneath, it reads:
Is it there yez are, ye two-faced lyin’ blaguard wid yer mane blarney about the Sun; no Sun ivir riz anywhere, afore it did in Ould Ireland! England afore Ireland! nivir!! Hurroo!!
We’ve previously looked at Dublin Mean Time (DMT) on the blog, noting that:
DMT meant that for many years we in Ireland were in fact 25 minutes and 21 seconds behind of ‘them across the water’, a situation that remained in place until October 1 1916, when the Time (Ireland) Act brought Ireland into line with Great Britain.
Incredibly, prior to October 1916, there had been some hostility to the idea of synchronizing our watches with Britain. In August 1916, a letter appeared in the Irish Independent arguing against it on nationalist grounds! The writer noted that “the question is whether we should give up this mark of our national identity to suit the convenience of shipping companies and a few travellers”.
The Time Act became a political football in Ireland, an Ireland changed (changed utterly you could say) by the events of Easter week. Edward Carson, The Irish Times of August 12 noted, failed to understand the controversy of it all. “All he could say was that if certain hon. members stopped this bill he would see that the Dublin Reconstruction Bill, or other bills, would also be treated as controversial and not allowed to proceed”