Dec says farewell: TV presenter carries brother Dermott's coffin

Dec says farewell: TV presenter carries brother Dermott's coffin

07/28/2022

Dec says farewell: TV presenter carries brother Dermott Donnelly’s coffin as Mass is held for Roman Catholic priest ahead of his burial in Newcastle – a month after his sudden death aged 55

  • The popular TV personality joined friends a family for the Catholic service at the city’s St. Michael’s Church prior to his burial service in the north east on Friday morning
  • Dermott Donnelly, a Catholic priest, died from a suspected bleed on the brain on July 8 after being treated at North Durham hospital following a collapse at his Newcastle parish
  • The diocese of Hexham and Newcastle, where Dermott served at St. Jospeh’s Church in County Durham, confirmed the news of his sudden death in a short statement 

Declan Donnelly served as pallbearer on Thursday evening as Mass was held ahead of his older brother Dermott’s funeral in Newcastle. 

The popular TV personality joined friends a family for the Catholic service at the city’s St. Michael’s Church prior to his burial service in the north east on Friday morning. 

Dermott Donnelly, a respected Catholic priest, died from a suspected bleed on the brain on July 8 after being treated at North Durham hospital following a collapse at his Newcastle parish.

Saturday Night Takeaway and Britain’s Got Talent presenter Dec, 46, later announced the news of his death on social media, writing: ‘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.’

Difficult task: Declan Donnelly served as pallbearer on Thursday evening as Mass was held ahead of his older brother Dermott’s funeral in Newcastle

The diocese of Hexham and Newcastle, where Dermot served at St. Jospeh’s Church in County Durham, had previously confirmed the news of his death in a short message.

A statement from the diocese read: ‘It is with great sadness that we have to inform you of the death of Fr Dermott Donnelly, who died peacefully this afternoon in hospital.

‘This has come as a great shock to all of us. Please pray for the repose of his soul and keep his family, especially his mother, in your prayers at this difficult time.’

A spokesman for Declan said: ‘It is with great sadness that we confirm the death of Fr Dermott Donnelly who died peacefully this afternoon in hospital surrounded by his family and close friends.

‘We ask for the utmost privacy for the Donnelly family at this difficult time.’

Sad day: The presenter looked to the skies as he joined friends and family for the Catholic service at the city’s St. Michael’s Church prior to his burial service in the north east on Friday morning


Farewell: A mournful Dec looked on as those close to the beloved priest gathered for the service in his native Newcastle 

Devastated: Saturday Night Takeaway and Britain’s Got Talent presenter Dec announced the news of his brother’s death on social media in July 

Final journey: The presenter observed his brother’s casket being removed from a hearse ahead of Thursday’s Mass

Dermott was a regular visitor to his brother’s traditionally London based shows, while the presenter travelled to the north-east frequently to attend Mass and visit the youth projects which had been a labour of love for the priest since the 1990s. 

He started out as a curate in Chester-le-Street until, two years later, he was asked by the Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle to set up a youth programme aimed at introducing disadvantaged youngsters to the Catholic Church.

He transformed the Youth Ministry Team into a thriving concern, and in 2010 launched the Global Youth Village Centre on a former holiday camp in County Durham.

Over a 30 year period he continued raising money for the youth ministry, building the Emmaus Youth Village and developing youth leaders across the world.

Speaking in 2015, Donnelly admitted his connection to household name Dec helped him cross the generational divide with young parishioners.

He said: ‘I don’t advertise that I’m Dec’s brother, but the kids always seem to know. It bridges the gap between me and them.

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