Declan Donnelly shares tragic news of brother's death

·2-min read
Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

Declan Donnelly, one half of the award-winning duo Ant and Dec, has shared the news of the death of his brother.

His older brother, Father Dermott Donnelly, reportedly collapsed on Thursday evening and was taken to hospital.

Declan wrote on Twitter: "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."

Father Donnelly had worked as a Catholic Priest for the past 30 years and recently worked at St Joseph's Church in Stanley, County Durham. A statement by the diocese of Hexham and Newcastle said: "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."

Condolences have also been pouring out on social media. Corrie star Denise Welch wrote: "I'm so so sorry Declan. Your brother was a lovely, generous man who meant so much to the community he served."

Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

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St Vincent's Centre Newcastle added: "We had the pleasure of knowing your brother Fr Dermott within the diocese and what a wonderful inspirational priest he was, he will be greatly missed by so many. We keep you are all in our thoughts and prayers."

In 2015, Father Donnelly spoke about what he said to young parishioners about his famous older brother: "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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