Staff at Dublin's Pro Cathedral have issued an appeal for unwanted gifts received over the festive season.

They are appealing for the donations to give to the homeless.

Saint Mary's Pro Cathedral are particularly interested in gifts such as games, clothing, hats, scarves and toiletries.
 
The unwanted gifts will then be taken into storage by Crosscare.

Crosscare is the social care agency of the Dublin Diocese who redistribute the gifts to people in their homeless and residential projects this time next year.
 
Following the donation of a Diocesan Building earlier this month, Crosscare staff opened a new hostel for homeless people in just two weeks, providing 35 extra beds for those without a home this Christmas.  

Many of the unwanted gifts collected at the Pro Cathedral last year were given out yesterday.

The gifts were given to people estranged from their families or living alone.
 
Pro Cathedral administrator, Fr Damian O Reilly said that despite the hours spent choosing and wrapping, it is inevitable that hundreds of presents will simply not be used.

He said: "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." 

People can leave their unwanted gifts at the crib in St Mary's Pro Cathedral from now until 6 January.

Elsewhere, Oxfam Ireland’s shops are also calling for donations of unwanted Christmas gifts which could help raise vital funds for the charity’s life-saving work worldwide in 2015.

Oxfam charity shops, with over 51 locations across Ireland, are in critical need of donations to raise funds for Oxfam’s programmes, including the ongoing emergency response in Syria and South Sudan.

Oxfam Ireland’s Head of Retail Michael McIlwaine said: “No matter how small the donation, every little helps. It takes just a moment to bag an unwanted gift but it could change a life forever.

He said: “Our shops want the things you don’t and welcome donations of the entire top five unwanted Christmas presents: clothes, beauty products, books, gadgets and jewellery, as well as bags and accessories, CDs, DVDs, homewares, soft furnishings, furniture and even wedding dresses.

Mr McIlwaine said: "The sale of that “too-big” top for €8/£6 could help purify around 2,000 litres of water, making it safe to drink for South Sudanese families living in makeshift camps."

He said: "The sale of an unopened cosmetics set sold for €15/£11 could give a family in the Democratic Republic of Congo an eco-friendly efficient stove, designed to be hotter than traditional cooking methods while using only half the wood."

Mr McIlwaine continued, "That gift of a necklace that just isn’t to your taste sold for €30/£24 could feed a child orphaned by AIDS in Malawi for three and a half months."