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Crosscare rings in the New Year with gifts galore

The latest appeal for “unwanted” gifts in the Pro Cathedral in Dublin led to people travelling from far and wide to donate.

Saint Mary's Pro-Cathedral, Marlborough Street, Dublin 1 (file photo).
Saint Mary's Pro-Cathedral, Marlborough Street, Dublin 1 (file photo).
Image: Julien Behal/PA Wire/Press Association Images

CHRISTMAS 2012 MAY be over, but social care agency Crosscare is already planning for Christmas 2013.

Their plans have been helped, in no small part, by an appeal urging people to place unwanted Christmas gifts in the crib of Dublin’s Pro Cathedral.

The appeal, which ended yesterday, resulted in a haul which, according to Crosscare, was as good as previous years.

For Father Michael Hurley, a newly arrived priest at the Pro Cathedral, this was his first Christmas to witness the appeal firsthand.

“It has been an outstanding event,” he told TheJournal.ie. “I’ve seen people come from different parts of Dublin, and indeed Ireland, to give a hand, every day from St Stephen’s Day to yesterday.”

With the majority of gifts already handed over to Crosscare, another “big truck” is due to take the remainder tomorrow.

Father Hurley said that he knew of many cases where the clothes which had been handed in had been bought specifically for the appeal. And for those gifts which were genuinely unwanted, the priest knows that they are most certainly wanted by others:

The word “unwanted”, they are certainly not unwanted. They are desperately wanted and needed by those who will be given them next Christmas.
I think it’s good that this appeal was linked with Christmas. It continued Christmas for me, and the joy of giving and receiving. It was a lovely idea that this was something that was ultimately for the poor, a visual reminder that Christmas is still going on.

“Homelessness and addiction are very obvious to the priests who work in the church,” Father Hurley says. “You see these people sitting in the laneways, and it was nice that we were doing something that we knew would help them in some little way.”

Read: Unwanted Christmas Gifts sought at Dublin’s Pro Cathedral >

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Paul Hyland

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