Thanks for the update on Patrick Burke's condition. An Phoblacht is the only place we can learn what is truly going on. Councillor Christy Burke made many friends here in Los Angeles during his last visit in support of Sinn Féin. Now our hearts go out to him and his family in the wake of the tragedy befalling his son.
Christy extended me a personal invitation to visit next time I'm in Dublin. When I do next spring, I hope Patrick will have made a complete recovery. God bless and keep the Burkes.
Sharon L. Thompson
As a reader and seller of An Phoblacht, I would like to make a few comments about the paper, which I hope will be viewed as constructive.
I know the Assembly is currently on a summer break, but I find there has been a lack of reporting on its work and any positive achievements, if any. The only issue that seems to have been covered in any detail is the flying of flags.
The same applies to the cross-border bodies, which I know Sinn Féin regards as extremely important in its aims to create all-Ireland structures. Are these bodies meeting, and what progress has been made so far?
Trade unions is another subject, although covered by An Phoblacht on occasions when reporting industrial disputes, which needs to be addressed in more detail. I know that in the Six Counties there have been problems in republicans being involved in some trade unions because of loyalist sectarianism. Is this still the case and is there any strategy to counter this and encourage republicans in the North to become more active in trade unions? You only have to look to the Republic of Ireland to see the impact trade unions can have on improving the lives of working people and those who are unemployed.
Finally, I would like to see more political debate in An Phoblacht on Sinn Féin strategies and policies. Such discussion, if conducted in a positive and comradely manner, is the lifeblood of any political party or movement.
Don't delete ár teanga
It is disgraceful to think that in this Tiger economy, where companies are recording record profits and paying their executives millions in bonuses, that Eircom would even consider cutting their so called costs by omitting our national language from bills and directories.
The time to enhance our language is now, when there is plenty of money in the coffers of the state bodies and the multi-national corporations. Even the English government under the Tory party introduced bilingual directories and documentation in Welsh.
It is worrying that the Dublin government, who are supposed to cherish and promote our language, seem to be doing all they can to suppress it through lack of imagination and concern in our education system in Irish and in the content of what our young, are taught about Irish history.
We call on all the ministers with responsibilities for education and semi state bodies as well as the unions and employers' federations, to promote the Irish language and not run it into the ground as if it was an embarrassment to our country.