Declan Donnelly to bid emotional farewell to late brother at Newcastle funeral

Declan Donnelly is preparing to say an emotional goodbye to his brother, Father Dermott Donnelly, who passed away in hospital earlier this month.

The devastated BGT host 46, will head back to his hometown of Newcastle for his older brother's funeral, which is set to take place on Friday (July 29).

Dec's presenting partner and best pal Ant McPartlin will also be in attendance along with several relatives from his parents' native Ireland.

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The funeral comes before the beloved Geordie TV duo travel to South Africa to film a special edition of their ITV show, I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here.

The funeral will also be attended by priests and clerics from across the North East, where Father Dermott served the Catholic church for 30 years.

The Donnelly family released a statement regarding the funeral which read: "Due to limited space, we would encourage those who wish to participate in the Requiem Mass on Friday 29 July to gather at St Michael’s church.

"The Mass will be live-streamed and Holy Communion will be made available. Following the Requiem Mass, Fr Dermott’s cortege will pass St Michael’s for those who wish to pay their respects."

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Father Dermott died aged 55 just hours after he was rushed to North Durham Hospital on July 8.

Last Friday (July 16), the diocese of Hexham and Newcastle announced the news that the Catholic priest had passed peacefully in hospital that afternoon following a short illness.

Following his hospitalisation, Father Dermott's parish had been told he was "extremely unwell", adding that the parish community would be coming together to pray for his welfare.

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Dec took to Twitter to share his heartbreak at losing his brother, saying: "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 DD."

The brothers shared a close bond, with Father Donnelly officiating his little brother's wedding to Ali Astall back in 2015.

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