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Treasure trove of unwanted gifts

Donna McGee, of Haven House, Dublin, which is run by care agency Crosscare, with some of the public donations given after Crosscare's annual appeal. Gareth Chaney/CollinsTHE boxes stacked from floor to ceiling are a testament to the generosity of ordinary people who donated an unprecedented amount of "unwanted" Christmas gifts this year.

And it wasn't just dodgy reindeer jumpers or red and green bath salts that filled a record 12 vanloads donated during the Dublin Archdiocese's Unwanted Christmas Gifts Appeal.

Valuable clothes, toys, and items like kettles and toasters, were included among the usual assortment of chocolates, slippers and food hampers that overflowed from the the crib at St Mary's Pro Cathedral in Dublin for the fourth annual post-Christmas appeal.

"The response was absolutely enormous," said cathedral administrator Fr Damien O'Reilly. "It was overwhelming."

And it wasn't just kindhearted Dubs who donated. Donors made the trek to the inner-city Dublin church from as far afield as counties Wexford, Meath, and Louth.

About 30pc of the presents have already been distributed to the needy through the Archdiocese's Crosscare social care agency. The rest are to be distributed throughout the year to the underprivileged.

Irish Independent