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12-year-old Mayo whizz kid’s app takes world by storm

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Harry Moran
Harry Moran who moved with his family from Westport to Cork last June could well be the world’s youngest app developer.?

Mayo whizz-kid taking the technology world by storm


Neill O’Neill

HARRY Moran is 12-years-old, is in sixth class in school and likes computers. Unlike most of his age however, Harry Moran’s profile is heading for the stratosphere, as he has become the world’s youngest app developer with a game based on a pizza shooting red sauce at slices of salami.
Harry lived in Westport until last August when work requirements meant his family had to move to Cork. His parents Seán and Elaine and his brothers Con and Eva, also 12, (Harry is a triplet) and Ellen (10) all think his new found fame is brilliant, not to mention his proud family from Castlebar, including his uncle, well-known publican ‘Rocky’ Moran.
Harry understands computers it seems, like Beethoven did music, and to have Apple offer him a contract for his first foray into app development is proof of his talent. ‘Pizzabot’ was developed in just one month, and bearing similarities to ‘Space Invaders’, the game, which is available for download to Mac computers and will shortly be available for iPhones and iPads, is already racing to the top of the most popular app charts. It is currently outselling ‘Call of Duty’ and the hugely successful ‘Angry Birds’, with Harry getting more than half the proceeds of each 79 cent sale. He is also working away on a version for android.
A former pupil of Fahy NS, Harry’s mum Elaine was quick to heap praise on the staff there, for developing his prodigious talent over the last number of years.
“Harry is really good at this stuff, he can write software and was hugely encouraged in Fahy NS by Maura McNally, Fiona King, Siobhán Cronin and Richard Goggins,” she told The Mayo News. Elaine had to enter into the contract with Apple as Harry was too young to do so, and she thought he was joking the day he handed her the phone and said an executive from Apple wanted to speak to her.
Harry and his family love Westport and miss their friends and home in the Mayo town. They lived in Rosbeg, beside The Sheebeen Pub, and were actively involved in the local community. Harry has attended courses at the Centre for Talented Youth in Dublin and taught himself the coding programme, Objective C, so that he could develop the app. He is a member of a computer club and mentoring group in Cork - CoderDojo - who have also been instrumental in his success to date. Harry also writes a blog, HM Computing, which offers technology and software advice.
His dad Seá`n is an engineer and manager at Sanmina SCI in north Cork. However, his mum said that neither her nor her husband have backgrounds in computers.
“The whole family is delighted for Harry,” Elaine said. “I do not know anything about computers, this is all Harry on his own. There have been journalists and photographers in our house all week and he has been on several radio and television shows at this stage. There are so many people to thank  - particularly in Mayo - and elsewhere for the positive influences they have had on Harry’s life, and I just hope they know how grateful we are to them.”