The charity is also urgently appealing for dry, non-perishable food.
This year, the amount it raised from its annual church gate collection was down 20%. However, St Vincent de Paul, which looks after 5,000 families a week in Cork, said it has recorded a major increase in requests for help.
Mr Dempsey said: “There are up to 200 families who still need help with toys this Christmas and with just five days to go, we don’t have any. They have all gone out. This has never happened before.”
St Vincent de Paul said its food and toy stocks normally come from church gate collections, local factories, Marks & Spencer Giving Trees, and annual schools collections at Christmas time. It does not know yet how much their schools and Giving Tree collections have fallen but it is clear that support has dropped.
Mr Dempsey said: “I do not know but I have to wonder is this because of the scandal at the Central Remedial Centre? It is unprecedented for us to have no toys and little or no food at this time of the year. We urgently need toys for several hundred families and non perishable food like peas, beans, spaghetti, sauces, tuna as there are people out there who won’t eat without it.”