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08th Jul 2022

Declan Donnelly ‘beyond devastated’ following death of brother Father Dermott aged 55

Steve Hopkins

Father Dermott was rushed to hospital after collapsing on Thursday

Declan Donnelly’s brother has died at the age of 55 following a serious illness, leaving the TV star “beyond devastated”.

Father Dermott collapsed on Thursday and was taken to North Durham Hospital, but died Friday.

The priest’s death was confirmed by the Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle, who said in a statement: “It is with great sadness that I inform you of the death of Fr Dermott Donnelly who died peacefully this afternoon in hospital.

“Please pray for the repose of his soul and keep his family, especially his mother, in your prayers at this difficult time.”

Dec tweeted on Friday evening: “I am heartbroken to tell you that my darling brother Fr Dermott, @TweeterPriest, sadly passed away this afternoon. We are all beyond devastated. Thank you for your messages of sympathy and support, they are appreciated’. He affectionately signed off the tweet with ‘DD.”

Funeral arrangements are still being finalised.

A special mass was set to be held Friday evening for the Saturday Night Takeaway presenter’s brother, taking place at their local church.

In a statement, the Stanley, Dipton & Byermoor Catholic Parishes asked for prayers for the “extremely unwell” priest.

“Tomorrow evening between 6pm-7pm there will be a period of time before the Blessed Sacrament so that we can come together as a community in St Joseph’s Church to pray for Father Dermott’s welfare,” they said.

“Please be respectful to Father Dermott and his family at this difficult time, we will update you as and when we receive the most up to date information verified by the Diocese.”

Dec, 46, is the youngest of seven siblings and his older brother conducted his wedding to wife Ali Astall in 2015, with the couple now sharing a daughter.

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