Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Effin villagers riled over Facebook ban

A Limerick woman has started an online campaign to get her native village recognised by Facebook.

But Ann Marie Kennedy (47) has a problem: the village of Effin has been branded 'offensive' by the social networking giant.

Ms Kennedy, who works at the University of Limerick, said yesterday that she, along with several more friends, have been trying to insert the village name into the 'homeplace' section of their Facebook profiles in recent months. But they haven't been successful.

Ms Kennedy also tried to set up a Facebook page entitled, 'Please get my hometown Effin recognised'. But it too was blocked by the social networking site.

"It came back with an error message saying 'offensive'," Ms Kennedy said.

"I would like to be able to put Effin on my profile page and so would many other Effin people around the world to proudly say that they are from Effin, Co Limerick, but it won't recognise that," she said.

"It keeps coming up as Effingham, Illinois; Effingham, New Hampshire; and it gives suggestions of other places.

"It will recognise Limerick but I'm not from Limerick city, I'm from Effin. I'm a proud Effin woman. And I always will be an Effin woman."

"It's just a pet peeve," Ms Kennedy -- who lives in Banogue but hopes to return to Effin -- said of her Facebook battle.

"It's not fair really. It will let you put it in but when you go to save it -- nothing. It's like as if it's blocked.

"I've tried contacting Facebook but it's very hard to. You can't pick up the phone. There is a forum on Facebook about home towns as other people are having problems as well," she explained.

Ms Kennedy was born in Effin and can trace her ancestors in the area back to 1857. The village has a population of around 1,000 and is about 40km south of Limerick city near Charleville.

It is uncertain as to where the village name is derived from but it has been suggested that the origins lie in Cill or Teampaill Eiffin, meaning the Temple or Church of St Effin.

A spokesperson for Facebook could not be contacted for comment last night.

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