Leah Farrell/

'Tension, fraught relationships, alcohol': Childline contacted 1,200 times on Christmas Day

The number represents a 25% increase on last year’s contacts.

CHILDLINE RECEIVED 1,267 calls, texts and online contacts from children and young people on Christmas Day.

Calls are taken by volunteers 24 hours a day and yesterday there were 45 calltakers working across the country to ensure the service could remain active. 

There was an almost 25% increase in the number of contacts answered this year compared to Christmas Day last year.

This morning the service said while many homes are filled with love, warmth and the company of family and friends at this time of year, “the magic of Christmas does not reach every child and young person”.

“For some children, what should be the most joyful of times can be the most frightening time in private.”

Childline said a number of the children and young people who contacted the service on Christmas Day described the tension in their homes, “often propelled by fraught relationships and alcohol intake”.

Others spoke of how they felt sad and lonely and missed loved ones who were not around.

Childline volunteers also received contacts from children and young people who wanted to thank them for their support throughout the year.

ISPCC CEO John Church said volunteers are acutely aware that not every home fills with joy at Christmas. 

“Fortunately, many children contact Childline to share their thoughts and feelings. We are hugely grateful to each of the Childline volunteers who give up time with their own loved ones throughout the holiday season to make sure that children have somewhere to turn when they seek support. A call to Childline can be life-changing for a child or young person.”

Childline volunteers show tremendous commitment and dedication in working tirelessly and passionately to bring about positive change in the lives of all children and young people in Ireland.

Church said the service relies on the generous support expressed by the general public.

If you need to contact Childline, call 1800, 66, 66, 66 or text 50101. 

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