RTÉ 2fm's Christmas Toy Appeal saw 57,000 toys donated by 2fm listeners to St Vincent de Paul - three times the 2010 figure - with €100,000 donated online in "virtual toy" cash donations.

RTÉ 2fm head John McMahon said of the appeal, which was run in association with SuperValu: "2fm rang-out the Toy Appeal message loud and clear in the run-up to Christmas.

"The result is really astonishing and completely unexpected in the context of the economic challenges so many people are facing. The fact that donations trebled is a tribute to all our listeners.”

Mairead Bushnell, National President, Society of St Vincent de Paul, said: "The generosity of the RTÉ 2fm listeners was truly outstanding. All of the toys, games, vouchers, music, books and cinema tickets donated were put to good use.

"Not only did children and teenagers in their family homes receive a visit from Santa but children in hospitals and away from home also received an unexpected gift.

"In some cases homeless or estranged parents were able to visit their family homes at Christmas with a gift that otherwise they may not have been able to afford.

"We are extremely grateful to everyone in RTÉ 2fm, SuperValu and the many businesses who organised collection points for this outstanding event. The time and dedication they, along with our own volunteers and staff, put into the appeal was tremendous."