THE number of unwanted Christmas gifts donated to a major homeless charity is set to top last year's haul.
Hundreds of presents, including festive hampers, toys, hats, gloves and candles, flooded into the Pro Cathedral in Dublin yesterday as part of an appeal by Crosscare.
The Dublin diocesan agency has begun distributing the gifts to people in homeless and residential projects.
The Very Reverend Damian O'Reilly was among the staff taking in the unwanted gifts.
"It is still early days, but we've filled two vanloads already and I would expect to top what we got last year by the end of the appeal," he said last night.
"For some reason, we had loads of boxes of Cadbury's Roses last year but not as many this year. Maybe they're not as cheap as they were."
Fr O'Reilly said it is most likely that many of the presents would otherwise have languished in the bottom of wardrobes for the next 12 months.
He said the appeal was a way for families who were hard pressed by the current economic crisis to support those most in need without having to spend.
Staff at "the Pro" were always taken aback by people's generosity, he said.
Unwanted gifts can be left at the Pro Cathedral until January 6.