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CervicalCheck campaigners demand changes to register after ballot cards sent to deceased

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Stephen Teap whose wife Irene died from cervical cancer. Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Stephen Teap whose wife Irene died from cervical cancer. Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Stephen Teap whose wife Irene died from cervical cancer. Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

TWO CervicalCheck campaigners demanded changes to monitoring of the voter register after ballot cards were issued in error to their deceased wives.

Paul Dingivan and Stephen Teap both expressed anger after voting cards were received in the name of their deceased wives this week.

Paul's wife, Julie (36), had a missed diagnosis of cervical cancer - and she died in April 2017, seven years after she received her false clear test result.

Stephen Teap's wife, Irene (35), died in July 2017 after a similar missed diagnosis - but he has received voting cards in her name for the Presidential, Local Government, European and now General Elections.

Paul said the receipt of such documents in the names of deceased loved ones causes great upset for families.

"I didn't know what to think at first - I was trying to figure out why it came in her maiden name? I thought it was ridiculous. When Julie had the cancer, she was on disability and was entitled to a free TV license," he told Cork's RedFM.

"But within three to four weeks of her passing away I had a man knocking on my door telling me I had to get a TV license now because your wife is dead."

"Three years after she passed away and they can't even get this (voting card) right."

Mr Teap said there should be a streamlined, modern system to update the electoral register. He warned that families who have lost loved ones have to go through a complex, exhausting process to ensure such names are removed from various State lists - and are then left upset when documents still arrive in the name of their deceased loved one.

"Just how many people do I have to tell? Surely State agencies should talk to each other? Do I have to worry about the electoral register too," he said.

Paul said such bureaucratic gaffes can cause great upset and anguish. "It is not nice to see it come in the door - I knew what Stephen meant when he was so annoyed (to get the voting card in his wife's name)."

"It is crazy - it was Ali (my daughter) who picked it up with the post. She said there was a postcard for Mammy. I took it off her. She didn't take much notice."

Paul said he is trying to keep busy and shield the children from upset over Julie's death. "We were is DisneyLand for Christmas and are trying to keep busy. Sunday was was tough - it was an anniversary as it was 18 years since I first met Julie. It was a tough enough old day."

"We stayed at home and watched one of Julie's favourite movies to mark the day."

Online Editors