Leahy, Cornelius (‘Con’) (1876–1921), athlete, was born 27 April 1876 in Cregane, Charleville, Co. Cork, son of Thomas Leahy, farmer, and Mary Leahy (née McDonagh). In his international athletic career between 1899 and 1908, he won four successive British Amateur Athletic Association high-jump titles (1905–8); a US high-jump title (1907); seven consecutive Irish running high-jump titles, under the Irish Amateur Athletic Association rules (1902–8); five Irish running long-jump titles (GAA, 1902; IAAA, 1902, 1904; 1905, 1906); and titles in the running hop, step, and jump (1902), standing hop, step, and jump (1905) and standing long jump (1905), all under GAA rules. In 1906 he won the high-jump competition in an international athletics meeting between Ireland and Scotland. At the 1906 intercalary games held in Athens, he won gold in the high jump, clearing 1.77 metres, and silver in the triple jump, having jumped 13.98 metres. He also represented the United Kingdom at the 1908 Olympic games in London, tying for a silver medal in the high jump at 1.78 metres.
His brother, Patrick Leahy (1877–1926), born 20 May 1877, was considered a more talented but less consistent athlete. In 1898 at a meeting in Millstreet he set a European high jump record of 6 ft 4.75 in. Two months previously at Limerick he jumped 6 ft 5.5 in., one-eighth of an inch short of the world record set in 1895 in New York by Mike Sweeney, but his jump was not officially recognised as an Irish, British, or European record. In 1898 and 1899 he was the English high-jump champion, clearing 5 ft 10 in. on both occasions. At the 1900 Olympic games in Paris he won silver in the high jump at 1.78 metres, and bronze in the long jump at 6.95 metres, but failed to qualify for the final rounds of the triple jump. However, his performances in training in Ireland before the games had been much better, and he gained a reputation for never performing at his best outside Ireland. Had he been able to replicate his domestic form outside Ireland, it is believed that he would have had greater success at the Olympic games. He competed in the high jump at the 1908 Olympics but did not qualify for the final of the competition. Along with his brother, he won many Irish domestic titles: seven consecutive running-high-jump titles under GAA rules (1897–1905); four consecutive running-high-jump titles under IAAA rules (1897–1900, tying with Peter O'Connor (qv) in 1900); and running-long-jump titles under both rules in 1903. A third brother, Timothy Leahy, also won Irish high-jump records in 1909, 1911, 1913, and 1914.
Con and Pat Leahy both emigrated to the USA, where Con died in 1921 and Pat in 1926.