In this bleak economic environment the generosity of the people of South Tipperary has been hailed as 'truly wonderful' after unprecedented donations of food, toys and money were made to a womens refuge.
The Cuan Saor refuge in Clonmel was full to capacity over Christmas with four families, including three children, availing of the living quarters available. Victims of domestic violence were not forgotten by the public who ensured there was a stream of donations made to the centre up to late on Christmas Eve.
Martina Killoran, senior refuge worker, said the donations this year exceeded all others and everybody at the centre, those working and those living there, were overwhelmed by the generosity of people.
"We are open ten years and this was the best Christmas we ever have had for donations. Given the economic climate out there, that is remarkable," she said.
"People were coming to the centre with cooked meals up to seven o clock on Christmas Eve night. There was a stream of people bringing cooked food, toys and money, it was unbelievable. We were amazed to see so much coming in" said Martina.
"Santa came and to the children and everything was done to try and make it a happy Christmas for everyone at the centre," said Martina.
She said the centre was exceptionally busy over the Christmas. It was full and anybody else who needed long term stay were referred onto other centres. The helplines operated from the South Tipperary refuge based in Jervis Street, Clonmel was also extremely busy.
"People were ringing on the helplines we operate every day, on average we had four to five lines open every day," she said.