The Effin battle is won – Facebook has formally identified the small Limerick parish with the name to make a schoolboy laugh.
Local campaigner Ann Marie Kennedy is celebrating after winning her war with the social networking site on behalf of the village of Effin.
The 47-year-old University of Limerick worker made headlines across the world last year when she took on Facebook after the site refused to accept Effin as a legitimate name for her hometown.
Now Ann Marie and her neighbours can proudly list Effin as their homeplace on their Facebook page after the social network reversed a ruling that the name was ‘offensive’.
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“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,” revealed Kennedy who has yet to be informed officially by Facebook of the decision to recognise Effin.
Speaking to the Irish Independent newspaper, she added: “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.
“It is great, but we are not fully there yet. 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.”
Kennedy also revealed that she had invited Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to her parish to prove it exists.
She also informed him that the Effin parish was mentioned in historical 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,” said Kennedy.
Keen to write a history of her parish in the future, Kennedy and her neighbors have a big match to look forward to later this month.
“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,” Kennedy said.
Here's a song written by Sean Kelly as his contributions to the town of Effin's campaign: