ITV star Declan Donnelly’s Catholic priest brother has died at the age of 55 after a bout of illness.
The Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle confirmed the news that Father Dermott Donnelly passed away peacefully in hospital on Friday afternoon.
A statement from the diocese said: “We are deeply saddened to inform you of the death of Father Dermott Donnelly, who passed away peacefully in hospital this afternoon.
“This is a huge shock to all of us.
“Please pray for his soul’s burial and keep his family, especially his mother, in your prayers at this difficult time.”
Bishop Robert Byrne of Hexham and Newcastle said he will “might miss the diocese for his leading work with young people, on both the diocesan and national levels”.
He added: “He is a good and faithful priest.”
Stanley, Dipton & Byermoor Catholic Parishes also shared the news and asked parishioners to “pray for his soul”.
Earlier, on Friday, Father Dermott was “very unwell” in hospital and had asked for prayers for him.
A similar message was posted on the Facebook page of the Pontop Partnership – a group of 10 Catholic parishes in the dioceses of Hexham and Newcastle.
The social media appeals prompted a flood of messages wishing him well.
Video of the day
Father Dermott is understood to have been a priest for 30 years.
In 2015, he celebrated his famous brother’s wedding to Ali Astall in Newcastle in a star-studded ceremony.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/priest-brother-of-declan-donnelly-dies-aged-55-after-short-illness-41825609.html Declan Donnelly’s priest brother dies at 55 after a short illness