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Silly hat is raising cash for Haiti

A novel idea by RTE stars to donate items of clothing in aid of the Haiti appeal has garnered massive interest and Ryan Tubridy's Late Late jumper has already reached €760.

Reporter Paul Cunningham's infamous Afghan hat, which attracted a huge following on a dedicated Facebook page, was sold for an impressive €570.

The hat gained much notoriety recently when Cunningham wore it on RTE 1's Nine O'Clock News during the Big Freeze on January 7.

Cunningham said that he decided to auction his now famous headgear for GOAL, noting that "the hat has to go".

The environment correspondent rang the Derek Mooney radio show when the presenter announced that he would put his jumper on eBay to raise much-needed funds for the emergency relief.

Cunningham's Afghan hat was purchased by Jack Murray of Mediaexpress.ie who was already a member of the Facebook appreciation society "We love Paul Cunningham's winter hat".

A spokeswoman for RTE said that the response was "phenomenal" and Cunningham said that he was overwhelmed by the generosity of listeners.

"I'm both delighted and surprised at the amount raise," said Cunningham.

"I know that GOAL is doing a great job in Haiti and I'm sure they would appreciate any other financial donations."

Derek Mooney's jumper raised €530 in funding when it was purchased by Tony Fitzpatrick of Fitzpatrick Menswear, Waterford.


Mr Fitzpatrick generously decided to re-auction the jumper again with an added donation of three Gant jumpers of any size and colour for the highest bidder from his store.

Bidding for Ryan Tubridy's Late Late Toy Show jumper is continuing and it is currently approaching the €800 mark.

Some 37 people have registered their interest in obtaining the TV presenter's second-hand sweater.

Lisa O'Shea from GOAL told Derek Mooney about Irish efforts to raise funds for Haiti, and said that all proceeds from the auctions will be given to the charity to help their great work.

The aid agency confirmed it has commenced a large distribution of food and non-food items to the inhabitants of Port-au-Prince.

The distribution will take place in the Turgeau region, one of the areas worst hit by the earthquake.