Kathleen Watkins donates Gay Byrne's Toy show jumper to raise money for charity

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Digital Desk staff

The late Gay Byrne will be a part of this year's Late Late Toy Show after his widow Kathleen Watkins offered one of his treasured Toy Show jumpers to Ryan Tubridy when she appeared on the Late Late show last night.

He was speechless as she offered him one of Gay's much-loved Toy Show jumpers to raise money for homeless charities.

She made the gift, having recently walked around Dublin city centre, seeing the homeless problem first-hand.

"It really was a shocker. I found the homeless everywhere, three and four people lying side by side, huddled together in doorways. It was really very distressing.

"We are living in our comfortable homes with our comfortable beds and there are people out there who are really in a very bad way, so, I am hoping that maybe the sweater will help," she said.

Ryan promised that the treasured jumper would be used in a "meaningful way" to support the homeless.

Elsewhere in the interview, Ms Watkins revealed that she had been hospitalised a number of times since her husband's death but she is feeling "good" now.

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"I am feeling fine. I have my moments, I have had some moments in the last month but I am doing well only with the help of family and friends.

"They have been absolutely wonderful. I count my blessings all the time."

She thanked the "entire nation" who wrote letters, cards, notes and sent Mass Cards to her following Gay's passing.

"They are from the four corners of Ireland and beyond. We knew that Gay was popular and loved but we didn’t know how much but we do now," she said, later adding: "All during the three years he was so ill people would stop me on the street, men and women, saying tell him we love him… It was just so nice and so essentially Irish and warm and genuine and real and sincere. Everything about it was just beautiful."

She also told Ryan about Gay's final days and how the family were able to spend time with him looking out at his favourite view.

"It was wonderful for us to have him at home for days and there was chat around the bed. We angled the bed toward the lighthouse which he loved," she said.

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