Staff at St Mary's Pro-Cathedral in Dublin have begun collecting unwanted Christmas gifts for distribution among people, whom they say, may not have received any gifts this Christmas.

Last year the initiative saw seven full van loads of items being handed out to children, youth groups and the elderly.

The event is being organised by the Crosscare charity, which saw unwanted gifts being distributed through the past year to those less fortunate.

Fr Pat O'Donoghue at the Pro-Cathedral on Marlborough Street said that the reality of Christmas is that most people will have received far more than they want, or need.

Elderly people living alone and children in deprived areas may have received little, he added.

Now the staff at the Pro-Cathedral are appealing for unwanted items to be delivered to their crib. Once collected, they will begin the process of handing them out to thousands of recipients early in the New Year.

Crosscare says that despite tough economic times, they have found the response to this initiative is outstanding with everything from toys to Christmas sweaters and expensive books being handed in.