Belfast Telegraph

Facebook battle will go down in Effin history

'We are not fully there yet...there is a lot of Effin people abroad'

By Barry Duggan

It's been one hell of a Effin battle, but a small parish has finally been recognised by Facebook.

The online campaign to have the popular social networking site recognise a Limerick village called Effin made headlines all over the world towards the end of last year.

And now the small community has got what it Effin deserves because Facebook users have been able to register the Limerick village as their 'homeplace'.

The name was previously classed as 'offensive'.

Ann Marie Kennedy (47) -- who works in the University of Limerick and joined Facebook in 2008 -- began the campaign last year, but there was no official announcement she had succeeded.

"I have an iPhone and around New Year's Eve, I could see that a local girl had Effin down as her homeplace. Then I saw that somebody else also had it online.

"We weren't told about it, but it seems that the change happened sometime over Christmas. It looks like everyone here in Ireland from Effin can register that as their homeplace," Ms Kennedy said.

"It is great, but we are not fully there yet," she added.

"While anyone here in Ireland can put Effin in as their homeplace, some people abroad cannot -- so hopefully that will be overcome soon as there is a lot of Effin people abroad.

"God, I spent ages trying to put Effin, Co Limerick, in my Facebook page but there was no way would they let me -- until now," Ms Kennedy said.

Ms Kennedy even wrote to its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, and invited him to her native parish to prove that it exists.

She informed him that Effin parish has been mentioned in journals as far back as 1297.

"It is named after a saint called Eimhin. The name Effin has been used for centuries long before it was used as a curse word. Surely with all your employees you can get this sorted out. I will be eternally grateful as will all the people from Effin all over the world," Ms Kennedy wrote.

As for Effin's future?

"We are playing the All-Ireland intermediate hurling semi-final on January 21 in Athy so we will all be supporting the team then and hopefully we will make Croke Park for the final," Ms Kennedy said.

"I also studied local history in UL so my goal is to write the Effin history some day," she added.

Belfast Telegraph


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