THE social networking giant Facebook has rejected claims that it considers Effin ‘offensive’ after a campaign led by a County Limerick woman to get the small village recognised by the site went global.
Ann Marie Kennedy, who works at the department of nursing and midwifery at the University of Limerick, brought worldwide attention on her native parish last week after she started an online campaign to ensure that the world ‘Effin’ could be inserted into the homeplace section of the villagers’ profile page.
Her initial attempt to start a Facebook page entitled ‘Please get my hometown Effin recognised’ was blocked by the social networking site, who sent back a message saying ‘offensive’ before rectifying the problem.
And since then the plight of the villagers has been relayed across the world - featuring on a number of television and radio stations and publications including the prestigious TIME magazine which told “the tale of one Effin woman who has been struggling since June to add her hometown to her Facebook page”.
“I got an awful shock on Friday morning when the radio shows rang me asking me would I go on and talk to them,” said Ann Marie, who initially spoke to the Limerick Leader and the Ray D’Arcy radio show on Today FM about her dilemma.
“Then I was on the BBC World Service. They recorded it and they played it out. It was firing out from all directions. The BBC World Service interview was broadcast all over the world and a girl I went to school with from Ballyagran heard it out in Milwaukee. She said she nearly crashed the car. She tracked me down on the internet and sent me an email message. Somebody else heard it on the radio out in Australia,” she said.
On Saturday morning Ann Marie woke up to a text from another friend who said that the south Limerick village was being discussed live on Sky News. “Then I looked at my emails and there was a message from the producer of Sky News Sunrise wanting me to go on air and talk to Mark Longhurst. I was interviewed live on air. I got my plug in about Effin Cinderella and the Effin Cheese.
“Twitter was hopping and my daughter rang me on Saturday night last and said: ‘Mam you are gone viral’.”