People don't have an 'absolute right' to have their name spelled with a “fada”, according to the data watchdog.

A man who was being treated for cancer at University Hospital Galway had complained to the Data Protection Commission after the hospital said it was unable  to include the “fada” on his name.

The DPC found that an individual doesn't have an 'absolute right' to have their records rectified and that it depends on each individual case.

According to the Irish Times , Ciarán Ó Cofaigh (51), alleges the Health Service Executive (HSE) was in breach of EU rules when the hospital told him its computer software does not allow for “fadas”.

The HSE admits its systems in “various” locations do not accept the accent, which it acknowledges is an integral component of the Ireland’s first official language and necessary to properly spell Irish names.

After an eight-month investigation into the complaint, the commission has ruled an individual’s right to have their records rectified “is not an absolute right” and “depends on the circumstances in each individual case”.

It recommended the HSE keep Mr Ó Cofaigh updated about the ability of its systems to accept fadas in the future and that it put a note on his hard-copy file to say he disputes the accuracy of his name on existing records.

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