Monday 24 September 2018

'John has always been way ahead of the class' - Boy (6) becomes Ireland's youngest member of Mensa

John has been requested by Mensa to join the high IQ society (Photo: Barry Fitzgerald)
John has been requested by Mensa to join the high IQ society (Photo: Barry Fitzgerald)
John has been requested by Mensa to join the high IQ society (Photo: Barry Fitzgerald)

A six-year-old Irish boy has become the country's youngest member of Mensa.

John Fitzgerald, from Kildimo in Co Limerick, has joined about 1,000 other Irish people on the books of the high IQ society.

John is just four years older than the world’s youngest member of the society; Adam Kirby from Surrey, England was invited to join the forum at the tender age of two.

His father Barry, who works as a computer engineer, said he noticed something 'different' about John when he was just 10 months old.

"John was in the babygro, getting a bottle, he must have only been ten or twelve months, and I used to read the same books to him repeatedly," Barry said.

"If I missed a word or skipped a sentence, the finger would come out, he was so young but he'd let me know that I'd skipped a word.

"I remember him being a baby and going through the alphabet on the wall, he wasn't saying the alphabet but he was making noises,he knows the sounds were different from one another.

"John has always been way ahead of the class, he was reading proficiently when he was in Montessori."

However, proud dad Barry is also keen to let people know that, despite his six-year-old son's 'gifted' skills, he is fun-loving and affectionate as well.

Speaking to the Anton Savage Show on Today FM, he said: "He's a bright and beautiful boy but he has special needs in education in that context as well, John is still at school and that is so important to us.

"He is such an affectionate boy and he has good friends, so it's important for us that he goes to school and hangs out with his friends, he is just six years of age."

Although you cannot do the official test before the age of 10, John has succeeded in several preliminary IQ tests and Mensa have requested he join their elite society. The group has more than 100 countries around the world.

A spokesperson for the Irish Mensa told Independent.ie that the John's application for membership is currently in the post on the way to the UK where he will be officially registered.

Barry described his son as 'gifted' and said he 'takes everything in his stride'.

"He's gifted is the way I put it, he's completely natural, normal, emotional and affectionate, he's a normal six-year-old kid and the other thing is he's so unaware.

"Up to this point, we didn't ever discuss these things with people.

"He takes everything in his stride."

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