But believe or not, Con Harrington’s entire life-story has not wholly been just about ‘bricks and mortar’. Widowed since 2006 and as well as rearing a son and daughter, Con also became interested in Horse Racing in the late 80s and with also a fair degree of success along the way.
His greatest claim to fame in the sport of kings was undoubtedly when he was joint-owner of ‘Indian Ridge’ with fellow London-Irish construction business man Sean Coughlan. That horse won a big race at Ascot in 1989 and went on to have a very successful career as a sire. Desert Orchid trainer David Ellsworth was its trainer and the jockey was Steve Cauthen. As well as owning a stud farm on the Curragh where he continues to breed horses, Con also has four horses currently in training in Lambourn in Berkshire.
But Con has also maintained his links with his native west Cork by building a house near his own homestead in Bantry. And despite all the amazing success he has achieved in his lifetime Con Harrington still maintains his affinity with Hanwell, the place where he first ‘dropped achor’ in 1957.
After all these years Con has continued to practice his strong religious upbringing and supports all worthy charitable causes. He is a regular face in St. Joseph’s club in Hanwell, The Pig and The Kings Arms where many of the regulars in these popular places in west London also worked for his company down through the years.
But perhaps the best appreciation of the life of Cornelius Harrington and his amazing qualities as a man is best left to one of his closest confidantes in his professional life – his former accountant Simon Smith who he has known since 1974.
“The great thing about Con is his attention to detail, he has a fantastic memory, he never writes anything down. In the 40 odd years that I have known Con, he has never missed a meeting or ever been late for a meeting, and he remembers everything!” and he added:
“Con is a shining example to others after leaving Cork in the 1950’s there was no chance of making a living there and that the story goes, by accident Con drove his grandfather’s tractor into a ditch, he was so scared of the repercussions that he just headed for the boat and over to London aged 16!”
Simon concluded: “Con is one of the Stars of the Irish that came over in the 1950s, and in fact you could sense even in the 1970s that he was always going to succeed. Con’s nature is brevity, he can be a bit formidable, he hates publicity, he is very modest and humble, he is always prepared to listen and I felt lucky and privileged to have known him and above all to have had Con as my client.”
Enjoy your well-earned Golden Jubilee this year Con because your legacy is destined to be a genuine inspiration for all young aspiring entrepreneurs.