A hundred thousand welcomes to my blog.  I retired in 2013 after 37 years teaching English and four as Deputy Principal of Scoil Mhuire agus Íde in Newcastle West, County Limerick, in Ireland. My interests include education, literature, politics, religion and sport.

I’m married to Kate – my long-suffering soulmate and we’ve been blessed as we watched our daughter and son grow up into their glorious selves.  I love my own place, Knockaderry, and the people who live there. My present preoccupations are: family, GAA, parish – and blogging!

I hope to collect here some musings about life in the slow lane! This blog will be a repository of my rants, my rambles and my reviews of poetry and fiction. It will also include some analysis of the political situation not already adequately covered in my rants section!

I don’t believe in perfection and have always agreed with Leonard Cohen when he says in Anthem:

Ring the bells that still can ring,

Forget ur perfect offering,

There is a crack in everything,

That’s how the light gets in.


Thank you for stopping by,

Vincent Hanley

Twitter: @Cnocandoire


22 thoughts on “Céad Míle Fáilte – Welcome,

  1. Hi Vincent,
    I just came across your blog when researching for my final paper about how masculinity is portrayed in Dickinson’s and Bishop’s poetry (I am a sophomore English major at Carleton College in MN). Thank you for writing such a wonderful post about Bishop’s “Roosters.” It will be ever so helpful in my quest to conquer this final. I am so glad I came across your page, you seem lovely. I have a feeling I will return to read more posts in the future 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Carolina,
      You’ve just made an old man very happy. I took up blogging when I retired from teaching and have reached over a million readers since – something that is still incredible to me. Delighted you found my post on Roosters to be of benefit. I wrote it less than a month after the 2016 Presidential election in your country – still amazed that Mr Trump had come to power in what I considered at the time to be a perfectly sane country! Anyway, politics aside, I wish you well in your finals and continue the good work – you’re dealing with two great heavyweights there in Bishop and Dickinson – two of my favourites. Please return at your leisure to browse when the pressure is off!


  2. Hi Vincent, I just this evening came across your blog as I was trying to dredge up my Leaving Cert memories of Another September. Your scholarly and comprehensive articles are most impressive – 37 years of teaching was evidently far from enough!

    I have myself taught intermittently over the years – English amongst other things – but have always pursued things creative: acting, writing, and now podcasting. I moved back last year from a decade in Australia and am back on my home turf of Wicklow fully intent on sustaining a life around creativity and advocacy.

    I welcome your site as a reference point to be included in future considerations, discussions and digressions.

    Keep up the great work.


    1. Thank you Dara for your kind words and support. The blog was a challenge I set myself after stepping back from the coalface. I really enjoy the opportunity to be creative for a change and I have a very loyal following in India!


      1. Well fair play to your Indian following if they’re both contributing to your eye-boggling numbers and also consuming your lovely tracts on the Leaving Cert syllabus and all things Newcastle West! 😂
        More power to all involved.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Vincent – I found your blog when I googled my great great grandpa Edward Curling. Your page on the iron bridge is interesting. Lovely photograph and a poem with a story as well as a philosophical tilt at religion. I was surprised, though, to find that you have given my ancestor a military title. I wasn’t aware that he had any connection with any army, British or Irish. I have been researching my family history for over a decade and have been very fortunate to find letters written by Edward and his siblings in the British Library, which have in turn led to discovering letters from other ancestors in archives in the UK, Ireland and further afield. I would love to know when and where Edward acquired the Major title. I live in England, but I was very fortunate, a few years ago, to be given a grand tour of Curling sites in NCW by Patrick O’Connor and John Cussen. The visit remains one of the highlights of my Family History research.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi LucyAnn, Apologies! I’ve contacted John Cussen and verified the fact that Edward was not a Major. Nonetheless the Iron Bridge still stands in his memory in Newcastle West. I wonder have you come across the excellent book, Lady Icarus by Lindie Naughton (which may be out of print at present) which deals with the life and times of Lady Mary Heath? Another relation of yours Richbel Curling is mentioned a number of times.


      1. Yes indeed, Vincent, Lady Icarus is on my shelves, along with Patrick O’Connor’s excellent ‘geographical histories’ of NCW and Limerick. Mary Heath’s ‘vengeance’ on Richbel is very funny. Richbel was my half great uncle. My grandfather Charles Edward William Curling was the first-born son of Charles Edward Napier Curling [CENC] by his first wife Alice Raymond who died 9 days after the birth. CENC remarried and had three more children by his second wife Lucy nee Collingwood, RIchbel, followed by Lucy Dorothy and Aileen Katherine. I knew both the daughters when I was a little girl living in Kilkee, Co. Clare.

        I’m writing a book about three Curling generations with Edward as the central focus. It’s divided into four sections (1) Van Diemen’s Land (2) Cephalonia (3) Suffolk and (4) NCW. It took me more than 10 years to finish the long draft of the first two sections, but I’m hoping to finish the second half more quickly as I’m now retired. 🙂 When I get to the fourth section I will need to revisit NCW and it would be lovely to meet you if/when I ever get to that point!


      2. I wish you well in your magnum opus and look forward to reading section four at least! Would love to meet up when you come to visit Newcastle West in the future.


  4. Dear Vincent, thanks so much for the mention in your Michael Hartnett post. I’m late with this because I have so little time for blogging at the moment so am totally envious of your retirement. It’s so interesting that you made a comparison to Heaney in your post as Heaney and Hartnett were the subjects of my PhD thesis back in 2008: Early Attachments and Identification Processes in the Poetry of Seamus Heaney and Michael Hartnett. It’s online somewhere if you have the time to Google it, author name is Sharon Moore, Safia being my nom de plume 🙂 As I live and work abroad now, I only get the summer months in Ireland, but one of these years, I’ve promised myself a trip to Newcastle West for Eigse Michael Hartnett, so maybe we’ll meet in the future, God willing.


    1. Thank you Safia/Sharon – would love to welcome you to Newcastle West some time soon – maybe you’d give the Hartnett Memorial Lecture sometime. I knew Hartnett when he returned to West Limerick in the Seventies – actually I taught his son, Niall. I had him in to read to my students but that wasn’t always a good idea! I’m a great dan of his, however, and I’m delighted that he continues to receive serious academic attention in works such as your own dissertation.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Niall was such a great help to me when digging for details and generous with his time. Great to make the connection, and yes, would jump at the opportunity to speak at Eigse – maybe when I retire to my own wee cottage in Mayo, Galway, or Limerick! Can just imagine Michael reading to school kids and offering his take on life in general – memories to cherish, no doubt.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Vincent, many thanks for bestowing a follow on my blog, it is greatly appreciated and you are warmly welcomed aboard. I see you just up the road in County Limerick. Allow me to explore your blog awhile, MM 🍀


  6. Thanks for following The Immortal Jukebox Vincent. I hope you will enjoy the wide variety of music covered and some entertaining writing. I welcome comments from readers. I usually post on a weekly basis. If it has been a while since you last visited come on over and see what’s new! Regards and good luck with all your projects. Thom.


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