The local SVP is urging those in poverty in the region to avoid the loan shark this Christmas.

Madeline Ui Mhealoid (Mwale-oge) from Mullagh works with St.Vincent de Paul in the region and says that the financial pressure at Christmas has taken away the joy for many parents.

Many parents have stated that they are struggling to cover the basics this winter, with heating homes a major issue.

Madeline says there is a deficit of funding for those living in poverty throughout the country and during their visits in recent weeks, lone parents in particular, have admitted to dreading this time of year.

However, speaking on The Joe Finnegan Show this morning she urged them not to look to a loan shark: