Declan Donnelly seen carrying brother’s coffin into church ahead of funeral

Britain’s Got Talent star Declan Donnelly was pictured carrying his brother's coffin into church on Thursday evening ahead of his brother’s funeral.

The TV star was pictured surrounded by relatives as he walked inside St Michael’s, RC Church in his hometown of Newcastle at 7pm.

The body of his older brother, Father Dermott, was being received the night before the funeral, following his death earlier this month at the age of just 55.

READ NEXT: Dermott Donnelly's heartbreaking final moments as Declan rushes to be by brother's side

The TV star is said to have raced to his brother's side after he fell seriously ill and was rushed to University Hospital of North Durham on Wednesday with a suspected bleed on the brain after he collapsed.

Declan, who recently welcomed his second child with wife Ali Astall, was dressed all in black wearing a T-shirt with a blazer and matching trousers.

The presenter was seen looking deep in thought as he rested his hand on his chin and looked down at the ground.

Dec, 46, paid tribute to his beloved brother and said he was "beyond devastated" in a tweet.

It read: "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 Dermott was understood to have been a priest for 30 years.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Dec told the Mirror: "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.

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"We ask for the utmost privacy for the Donnelly family at this difficult time."

Dec is one of seven children, and was raised on Newcastle's Cruddas Park estate with three brothers – Martin, Eamonn and Dermott – and three sisters – Camelia, Patricia and Moira.

Father Dermott took Holy Orders in 1992 in the same cathedral he officiated at his brother's wedding.

A statement shared by the Bishop said: "It is with great sadness that I inform you of the death of Fr Dermott Donnelly who died peacefully this afternoon in hospital.

"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.

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