In a West Cork Minute - John Harrington

October 24th, 2016 8:00 AM

By Southern Star Team

John Harrington, who is competing for Galley Flash at the World Open Coastal Rowing championships.

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John Harrington (38), from Castlefreke, Clonakilty, is competing for Galley Flash at the World Open Coastal Rowing Championships in Monaco this week, let’s hope he doesn’t come across a lobster pot …

How would your best friend describe you? They would say I am very calm on the outside and constantly over thinking on the inside. The calm bit wouldn’t have been true a number of years ago and some would still dispute it – but I have chilled out with age.


Who was your sporting hero when you were 10 years old? I was nine when Stephen Roche won the Tour De France, Giro and Worlds in ’87 so he has always been up there since then. But Ireland played England three days after my tenth birthday in 1988. I had to listen to it on a blue transistor radio I got for my birthday as we had rowing training that afternoon. So the Irish soccer team were well up there at that time. 


Tell us a funny story from your childhood: A story that keeps getting brought out at family get togethers was the time I managed to get myself stuck in a lobster pot. My dad had to cut me out. I would barely get my arm in now!


Where would you recommend for a weekend away? Killarney – I love Killarney, be it just me and my wife, the whole family or with the lads on a stag. It caters for all.


If you were on an island and could only bring three things, what would you bring? Well, strangely enough, I have done this one in Lough Hyne and I would do the same again and bring the family, a picnic and the kayaks. 


If you could go back in time, where would you go and why? I believe all things happen for a reason so I wouldn’t go back to change anything major. However, I would go back to January 2010 before we climbed Kilimanjaro and tell myself to take the bloody altitude tablets and don’t buy the local factor 50. 


What song best describes you? Something like ‘Roll With It’ from Oasis would be apt today.


What is your least favourite word? Can’t.


What’s the world’s greatest invention? The internet. Getting access to it in West Cork is another thing but I am one of the lucky ones and it allows me more flexibility to work from home, etc.


If you know you’d die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day? I wouldn’t be sleeping anyway, plenty of coffee and off we go. It would be with family and friends doing something, anything fun together. It would include a steak dinner, a few drinks, read a story or two for the kids (as they need sleep) and finish by watching the sun set and rise in the Galley Head with my wife.


A penguin walks into the room wearing a sombrero, why is he wearing it and what does he say? He is on a stag in Killarney, his phone is dead and he has lost the lads. He is walking into a pub asking ‘have you seen 20 small fellows who look, walk and talk like me?’

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