Dermott Donnelly funeral: Ant McPartlin supports Declan Donnelly

Declan Donnelly says goodbye to his beloved brother Dermott as Ant McPartlin and other stars attend funeral at cathedral after Catholic priest’s sudden death aged 55

Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly today arrived for a requiem mass being held for Father Dermott Donnelly, the brother of Dec.

Dec carried the coffin into St Mary’s Cathedral in Newcastle ahead of the service – and Anne Donnelly, the mother of Dec and Fr Dermott, also attended and wiped her eyes as she entered the church. 

Popular priest Fr Dermott, who had recently celebrated 30 years of service in the Catholic church, died earlier this month in hospital aged 55 after falling seriously ill.

After the tragedy, Dec said he was ‘heartbroken’, adding: ‘We are all beyond devastated.’

Ant added: ‘Fr Dermott you were the kindest, wisest man I knew. Rest in peace my friend. You will never be forgotten. My thoughts, prayers and love are with your wonderful family. The world has lost a special man.’

The requiem mass was being held at St Mary’s Cathedral at lunchtime. Fr Dermott’s body was received into St Michael’s Church in Newcastle’s West End yesterday evening.


Ant McPartlin (left) and Declan Donnelly (right) arrive in Newcastle for the funeral of Dec’s brother Father Dermott Donnelly

Declan Donnelly carries the coffin into St Mary’s Cathedral in Newcastle today for Father Dermott Donnelly’s funeral 

Ant McPartlin arrives at St Mary’s Cathedral in Newcastle this morning for the funeral of Father Dermott Donnelly

Anne Donnelly, the mother of Declan Donnelly and Father Dermott Donnelly, arrives at St Mary’s Cathedral in Newcastle today

Mourners gather in Newcastle city centre this morning ahead of Father Dermott Donnelly’s funeral at St Mary’s Cathedral

Declan Donnelly carries the coffin into St Mary’s Cathedral in Newcastle today for Father Dermott Donnelly’s funeral

Ant McPartlin arrives at St Mary’s Cathedral in Newcastle this morning for the funeral of Father Dermott Donnelly

Anne Donnelly, the mother of Declan Donnelly and Father Dermott Donnelly, arrives at St Mary’s Cathedral in Newcastle today

Declan Donnelly carries the coffin into St Mary’s Cathedral in Newcastle today for Father Dermott Donnelly’s funeral

The funeral cortege arrives at St Mary’s Cathedral in Newcastle today ahead of the requiem mass for Father Dermott Donnelly

Declan Donnelly arrives at the cathedral in Newcastle this morning for the funeral of his brother Father Dermott Donnelly 

Ant McPartlin arrives at St Mary’s Cathedral in Newcastle this morning for the funeral of Father Dermott Donnelly

Declan Donnelly arrives at the cathedral in Newcastle this morning for the funeral of his brother Father Dermott Donnelly

Ant McPartlin arrives at St Mary’s Cathedral in Newcastle this morning for the funeral of Father Dermott Donnelly

Declan Donnelly arrives at the cathedral in Newcastle this morning for the funeral of his brother Father Dermott Donnelly

Mourners arrive at St Mary’s Cathedral in Newcastle this morning for the funeral of Father Dermott Donnelly

Mourners arrive at St Mary’s Cathedral in Newcastle this morning for the funeral of Father Dermott Donnelly

The Donnellys – Dermott, Dec, Martin, Eamonn, Camelia, Patricia and Moira – grew up in Cruddas Park and attended St Michael’s when they were growing up.

It was the church where Dec married Ali Astall in 2015, officiated by his brother Dermott.

Such were the numbers of mourners expected at the cathedral that the mass was being live-streamed to St Michael’s.

The priest was best known for his work with young people and youth ministry. He was a member of the clergy for St Joseph’s Church in Stanley, County Durham.

Hexham and Newcastle Bishop Robert Byrne said: ‘He truly lived his faith, and in doing so gave so much to others. It is with great gratitude that we will remember him and all he selflessly gave.’

Popular priest Father Dermott Donnelly had recently celebrated 30 years of service in the Catholic church

Excerpts from the order of service for Father Dermott Donnelly’s funeral in Newcastle today are shown above

During his career, Fr Dermott was a supporter of The Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (Cafod) charity.

Its head of education Monica Conmee said he had been a ‘great friend of Cafod’, adding: ‘Fr Dermott chose to stand in the light, and through his immense talent and gifts, so generously guided thousands of young people to experience the love and light of God in their own lives, inspiring them to share this with others.’

In 2014 Fr Dermott featured on Songs Of Praise alongside CBBC’s Hacker T Dog to answer questions about the church that CBBC viewers had sent in.

In April he visited Downing Street and joined other religious leaders praying for peace.

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