The Catholic priest brother of ITV star Declan Donnelly is said to be “extremely unwell” in hospital and his parishioners have been asked to pray for him.
Messages wishing Father Dermott Donnelly, 55, well have been posted online as Catholic parishes in the north-east of England announced on Facebook that he had been admitted to hospital.
Stanley, Dipton & Byermoor Catholic Parishes posted: “Please pray for Father Dermott who is extremely unwell in hospital.
“Tomorrow evening between 6pm-7pm there will be 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.
“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.”
Similar messages asking for prayers for Father Dermott were also posted on the Facebook page of Pontop Partnership – a group of 10 Catholic parishes in the Diocese of Hexham & Newcastle.
The social media appeals prompted an outpouring of messages wishing him well.
Father Dermott is understood to have been a priest for 30 years.
In 2015 he officiated at the wedding of his famous brother to Ali Astall in Newcastle in a star-studded ceremony.