Father Dermott Donnelly: Declan Donnelly's brother dies after illness

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Father Dermott Donnelly, pictured in 2015Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
Father Dermott Donnelly would be "greatly missed", church colleagues said

TV star Declan Donnelly says he is "heartbroken" by the death of his brother, who was a priest.

Father Dermott Donnelly died in hospital after a short illness aged 55. He was understood to have been a priest for 30 years.

In a tweet, ITV presenter Declan said: "We are all beyond devastated."

In 2015 Fr Donnelly officiated at the wedding of his famous brother to Ali Astall in Newcastle in a ceremony attended by a number of celebrities.

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The Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle described his death as a "great shock".

In a statement it said: "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.

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

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
Fr Donnelly led his brother's wedding ceremony in 2015

Hexham and Newcastle Bishop Robert Byrne said he would be "greatly missed in the diocese for his sterling work with youth, on both a diocesan and national level".

Messages wishing Fr Donnelly well had earlier been posted online as Catholic parishes in the north east of England announced on Facebook he had been admitted to hospital.

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