A six-year-old potential genius from Co Limerick has become Ireland’s youngest member of Mensa.
Young John Fitzgerald from Kildimo received the news two days ago that he had been listed as the youngest person on Mensa’s books, which has about 1,000 Irish people currently on their books. The news was greatly welcomed by John’s parents but they say they are not surprised by their son’s intelligence. John’s father Barry, a computer engineer, and mother Annemaria, say they could see their son’s amazing abilities before he could walk.
John’s mother Anemaria told the Irish Examiner : “He started to memorise the alphabet when he was two and reading by two-and-a-half. He was also singing songs from The Beatles in their entirety before he was three.” “When he was three he was able to recite the 12 times tables. John could also memorise people’s car number plates from a very early age. His memory was just phenomenal,” she said.
The fantastic news came as no surprise to John’s current Montessori teacher Marry Cuddihy who said she had seen John’s amazing ability, Marry said she was that impressed by John’s talents she strongly urged the Fitzgeralds to get him assessed. The Fitzgearld’s subsequently decided to get John assessed when he was four and were told he had the reading age of a 12-year-old. John is now understood to have the intelligence of a 16-year-old at just the tender age of 6. Annemaria further explained of her son’s abilities saying: “Before he went to national school I had to ask him to name five countries starting with a certain letter and he’d rattle them off. He also knew the flags of countries as well. We’d just put up posters of things in his room and he would memorise them.”
Annemaria said young John is now attending nearby Kilcornan National School where the teachers are wonderful to him. “He’s currently in senior infants, but is going to skip a year next year and move into second class, because it’s been recommended.”
She said it definitely wasn’t going to his head.
According to his mother young John a soccer enthusiast and an avid Manchester United supporter “has no idea just how important it is.” She said John is completely normal, both socially and emotionally and loves playing soccer with Kilcornan AFC. Annemaria went onto say all he wants to do is play for Man United. There are no hints of any other career. She talked about how much in love he was the sport, she said: “He’s passionate about Wayne Rooney and another hero is Roy Keane. John recently did a school project on another idol, Pele, and did all the research.”
Although they are extremely pleased with the news John’s parents say they are focused on keeping young John’s feet grounded, but they did say they hoped the Mensa membership will open doors for him in the future.