Dec's priest brother Father Dermott Donnelly 'seriously ill in hospital'

Father Dermott Donnelly with brother Dec and Ant McPartlin. Credit: NCJM

Prayers are being held for Declan Donnelly's brother, Father Dermott Donnelly, who is said to be "extremely unwell" in hospital.

The Catholic community has been sending well wishes to Fr. Dermott after it was announced that he has been admitted to hospital and is believed to be seriously ill.

Pontop Partnership, which is a partnership of ten Catholic parishes in the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle, announced the news on Facebook.

They posted: "Please pray for Fr. Dermott Donnelly who is seriously ill in hospital."

Fr. Dermott conducted his brother Dec's wedding to Ali Astall at St Michael's Church, in Elswick, in 2015.

Father Dermott Donnelly outside St Michael's ahead of Dec's wedding. Credit: PA Images

In his time serving as a priest, he has also set up a youth outreach programme called The Village aimed at encouraging young people in the diocese to embrace their faith.

St Joseph's Church, in Stanley, will hold a community prayer this evening to pray for Fr. Dermott's welfare. The prayer will take place at 6pm, before the Blessed Sacrament.

"Please pray for Father Dermott who is extremely unwell in hospital," Stanley, Dipton & Byermoor Catholic Parishes posted on Facebook on Thursday evening.

"Tomorrow evening between 6pm-7pm there will be period of time before the Blessed Sacrament so that we can come together as a community in St Joseph's Church to pray for Father Dermott's welfare.

"Please be respectful to Father Dermott and his family at this difficult time, we will update you as and when we receive the most up to date information verified by the Diocese."