Close to the summit of Slievecorragh rests a solid bronze chair with a teddy bear sitting on it. Look closely, and you’ll spot a man’s silver ring on one of the chair’s bars and the name “Dan Clancy” written on the back.
Dan Clancy grew up next to Slievecorragh (An Sliabh Corrach in Irish Gaelic, which means “Rocky Mountain”), in County Wicklow but moved to New York as an adult. Whenever he returned home to Ireland to visit his siblings, they would all walk up the mountain just as they had done as children. There, they’d watch the sun sink below the horizon and spill its evening glow over the plains of neighboring County Kildare.
Sadly, Clancy was diagnosed with cancer while in New York. His brother Andrew spent a lot of time with him there, where they discussed how Clancy should be commemorated after his death. The idea of the chair memorial arose from their memories of an old chair that used to be in the kitchen of the family home.
Clancy died on February 4th, 2004, at the age of 31. A few months later Andrew, a sculptor, started to work on the bronze memorial chair. When it was completed, the family brought the chair up the mountain and set it facing Dan’s favorite view. The ring on the chair and the original teddy bear to sit on it were donated by Clancy’s partner in New York.
Touchingly, the teddy is no longer alone, as hill walkers have added two plush friends to keep it company. The toys are also joined by Clancy’s relatives, who meet at the memorial every year on his birthday and watch the sunset in honor of their lost family member.
Know Before You Go
The chair is down from the summit on the Kildare side. Go to the phone mast on top of the cairn, look to your left, and you will see a path leading to the chair a little below.