Ireland gained independence on the back of the 1916 Easter Rising - and lost 25 minutes time!

The Irish Times has published a fascinating story outlining how Dublin Mean Time was scrapped just months after the rebellion.

Greenwich Mean Time was introduced to Ireland when the House of Commons in London abolished Dublin Mean Time, which was 25 minutes behind.

The paper reports that when British clocks went back an hour for winter 1916 at 2am on Sunday, October 1st, Irish clocks only went back by 35 minutes to synchronize time in both countries.

Not only did Ireland lose 25 minutes, the move was made permanent.

Farmers, politicians, local councils and various business groups were bitterly opposed to the move.

The opposition was led by Countess Markievicz, one of the rebel leaders in the 1916 Rising.

A leader in the struggle for independence, she complained bitterly about the measure in a previously unpublished letter which has come to light.

Writing to JH MacDonnell, a London-Irish solicitor well-known for his Republican sympathies, in 1918 she claimed that the abolition of Dublin Mean Time would ‘put the whole country into the SF (Sinn Féin) camp’.

She claimed: “Irish public feeling is outraged by forcing of English time on us.”

The Irish Times adds that until the late 19th century, time in Ireland and Britain was defined locally according to sunrise and sunset.

The development of railway timetables and telegraphy required time to be standardized.

The House of Commons introduced legislation in 1880 to streamline time and defined time throughout Great Britain as Greenwich Mean Time.

The sun in Ireland was measured by the Dunsink Observatory as rising 25 minutes and 21 seconds later than at Greenwich and Irish time was officially defined as Dublin Mean Time.

The ruling only lasted 26 years and Dublin Mean Time was abolished when the House of Commons passed the The Time (Ireland) Act 1916.

Countess Markievicz’s hand-written letter is included in Whyte’s auction of historical memorabilia in Dublin next month.

She also claimed: “The English want to exterminate us, even as Cromwell did.”

Dublin Mean Time abolished months after 1916 Easter Rising.Wikimedia