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A DUBLIN charity is appealing for unwanted Christmas gifts to be donated to the homeless.

A DUBLIN charity is appealing for unwanted Christmas gifts to be donated to the homeless.

And with surveys showing that more than 80pc of people receive gifts they don't want, there should be plenty to go around.

Staff in St Mary's Pro Cathedral have made space at the crib available to take in any unwanted gifts such as games, clothing, hats, scarves and toiletries.

The unwanted gifts are taken into storage by Crosscare - the social care agency of the Dublin Diocese - who redistribute them as gifts to people in their homeless and residential projects this time next year.

Projects run by the team include a new 35-bed hostel for homeless people which opened in recent weeks.

The beds were part of a tranche of measures that came on-stream after the tragic death of Jonathan Corrie earlier this month while he was sleeping rough just metres from the Dail.

Pro Cathedral administrator Father Damian O Reilly said that it is inevitable that hundreds of presents will simply not be used.

"By bringing us your unwanted gifts, we can ensure that the time, money and care that went into buying them result in bringing happiness to someone in need next Christmas," he added.

Meanwhile, a survey of 960 Irish people found that 83pc of adults receive unwanted gifts at Christmas.

Donations

The study was carried out for Oxfam Ireland which is also appealing for donations for its charity shops.

Clothes make up more than half of unwanted items (56pc) and books come next on 31pc.

Other unpopular presents included gadgets (27pc), jewellery (26pc) and homewares (24pc).

Oxfam has more than 50 charity shops across Ireland and are "in critical need of donations" to raise funds for the charity's programmes, including the ongoing emergency response in Syria and South Sudan.

"No matter how small the donation, every little helps," Oxfam Ireland's Head of Retail Michael McIlwaine said.

hnews@herald.ie


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