Childline, an Irish helpline for children, was contacted more than 1,200 times on Christmas Day, an almost 25 percent increase from last year.

The free service, which is open all year round for 24 hours a day, accepts calls, texts, and online chats from children and young people who need to talk to someone.

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Over 45 volunteers made themselves available on Christmas Day to offer a listening ear.

The helpline said that a number of children contacted them and described tension in the home, often fueled by fraught relationships and alcohol, RTÉ reports.

Many children spoke of how lonely and sad they were. Some said they missed loved ones who were not around this year.

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The service also received some calls from young people expressing gratitude for the support the service offers throughout the year.

More information about Childline can be found here.

A young girl texts on a smartphone.iStock/Getty Images