Bright spark Schoolboy Alfie's got the write stuff - after inventing a hand sanitiser pen
Wexford lad Alfie Murphy is top of the class after inventing a hand sanitiser pen to use at school.
Sixth class pupil Alfie has already shifted 800 of his ingenious 'Ninja Clean' sanitiser writing pens.
But the youngster revealed how he only came up with the A+ idea after losing his €200 birthday money on staycation.
"The original idea was just to sell a few to my friends and try and make a bit of money," says Alfie (11), from Enniscorthy.
EntrePENeur Alfie got the inspiration for the two-in-one product while sanitising between lessons at Glenbrien Holy Family Primary School.
He asked dad Rob and mum Yvonne to lend a hand getting it onto virtual shelves at ninjaclean.eu.
"Alfie is always thinking of ideas," says Rob, who's a digital marketing executive. "I work for a local hotel and during the summer we were approached about a sanitiser pen spray. When I mentioned it to Alfie, he said, 'How come it doesn't actually have a pen on it?' I was like, 'Jesus - good point'.
"We went on to Amazon to see did it exist and we couldn't find it anywhere. So we emailed some pen companies to see if they could make us a writing pen with a sanitiser spray on the top - and one of them eventually came back to us and said 'Yes'."
More than 200 people are now on a waiting list for one of the nifty €4 pens. And dad-of-two Rob told how he couldn't be more proud of the creative youngster.
"It's brilliant," he beams. "We're delighted for him.
"At first, he said 'I only want [to order] 20 or 30 because I don't want to get stuck with them'. In the end, we ordered 100 because it was cheaper - and they sold out in a hour.
"His mam stuck it up on Facebook for him because he's not old enough to have an account. People were messaging saying [and] the phone was hopping. The second order was for 500 pens and that's all gone as well. Now he has his biggest order, 1,000 units, coming and he already has 200 pre-orders in for those.
"There are certain things we have to do for him because of his age - but it's his baby. He got a €100 bill last week from FedEx and he paid all that himself.
"He's even interested in the tax end of it!"
Grafter Alfie hand-fills each of the plastic pens with Irish-made hand sanitiser due to shipping regulations. But he promised that his homework always comes ahead of the kitchen-table-company.
"A lot of work goes into it," he admits. "I do my homework first and then I start doing them. My younger brother Archie, who's five, sold a few for me, to be fair to him.
"I bought a television for my room a few weeks ago," he jokes. "The rest is just going back into buying more pens!"