The number of calls answered to people seeking help from Childline on Christmas Day was up 20% on the same time last yea

The charity, which is the listening service of the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, expressed concern that over the year it has been struggling to answer all calls.

The organisation had 75 volunteers working around the country on Christmas Day to field calls.

In total, Childline responded to 1,450 calls, texts and web messages yesterday.

The calls dealt with family difficulties, loneliness and mental health issues.

Childline said that in the past 12 months it had been struggling to answer calls - with one in three going un-answered.

Childline said this was of particular concern.