Ant McPartlin has paid an emotional tribute with Declan Donnelly’s late brother, Father Dermott Donnelly.
Father Dermott Donnelly passed away last Friday, following a short illness. He was 55 years old. The Catholic priest officated Declan’s wedding to Ali Astall in Newcastle in 2015.
He also recently celebrated 30 years of service to his parish. Fr Dermott was also renowned for his work with young people and youth ministry. He was also a member of the clergy at St Josephs’ Church in Stanley, co Durham.
“It is with great sadness that I inform you of the death of Fr Dermott Donnelly who died peacefully this afternoon in hospital”, the Bishop of Newcastle and Hexham said in a statement. “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”.
He also added, “Funeral arrangements will follow when finalised”.
Speaking last Friday, Declan Donnelly said that he was “beyond devastated” following his brother’s death. More on this here.
“the kindest, wisest man I knew”
Taking to Twitter, Ant McPartlin also called Father Donnelly “the kindest, wisest man I knew”.
“Fr Dermott you were the kindest, wisest man I knew. Rest in peace my friend. You will never be forgotten”, he wrote. “My thoughts, prayers and love are with your wonderful family”.
“The world has lost a special man. X A”.
“I am heartbroken to tell you that my darling brother Fr Dermott, sadly passed away this afternoon”, Dec had tweeted last week. “We are all beyond devastated. Thank you for your messages of sympathy and support, they are appreciated”.
Along with Ant, a spokesperson for Declan Donnelly also added, “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”.