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EU Photo Exhibition on Homelessness by Philippe Gabel

19 February, 2008


Speaking ahead of tonight’s opening of celebrated French Photographer Philippe Gabel’s Exhibition on Homelessness Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald described the event as a symbol of the positive role Europe can play in ordinary peoples lives.


The Dublin MEP added:


“Philippe’s exhibition captures the human despair of homelessness over a thirty year period with great delicacy and respect for his subject matter.


“Homelessness is one of the big challenges facing the European Union, a challenge we are more than capable of overcoming if we set ourselves a strategic approach that delivers results.


“In December of last year I launched a major European initiative to end homelessness in all EU member states by 2015. I also called for the introduction of emergency winter plans for the homeless. In addition I called for annual progress reports on member state initiatives to reduce homelessness.


“It is estimated that some 5,000 people are homeless in Ireland, 629 of these are children. In Dublin alone approximately 1,500 adults and 485 children, the majority of whom are under 11 years of age, have been identified as homeless. These are only estimates. I have no doubt that the true figure of homelessness is in fact bleaker.


“The figures for premature mortality of the homeless released by The Simon Community at Christmas were alarming, but sadly predictable. 


“Tonight’s event is a symbol of the positive role Europe can play in ordinary people’s lives. By working together constructively we can produce positives changes for those who most need it.


“Philippe Gabel’s is a wonderful photographer and it is my hope that this exhibition will travel to as many member states as possible. Philippe’s work is both an inspiration and incentive for all EU institutions to work together to end homelessness by 2015.” CRÍOCH

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