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Dec Donnelly fights back tears as he carries Priest brother Dermott's coffin into funeral

The funeral mass of Declan Donnelly's Priest brother is due to take place in Newcastle on Friday.

The TV star was pictured carrying the coffin of his brother Farther Dermott Donnelly, 55, into St Michael’s Church last night ahead of today's funeral.

Dec, who recently announced the birth of his second child with wife Ali Astall, was dressed all in black wearing a T-shirt with a smart blazer and matching trousers.

READ MORE: Dec Donnelly welcomes baby son whose name includes touching nod to best pal Ant McPartlin

At one point, the presenter looked deep in thought as he rested his hand on his chin and looked down at the ground. He appeared to be fighting back tears as he was joined by relatives and friends, Mirror UK reports.

Declan Donnelly carrying the coffin (Andy Commins / Daily Mirror)

Dec is said to have raced to Fr Donnelly's side after he fell seriously ill earlier this month.

The presenter's 55-year-old sibling, who officiated the TV star's wedding in 2015, is understood to have been rushed to University Hospital of North Durham with a suspected bleed on the brain after he collapsed.

Declan Donnelly (Andy Commins / Daily Mirror)

Fr Dermott was one of seven children, brothers - Declan, Martin and Eamonn - and sisters - Camelia, Patricia and Moira.

Following his death, Dec, 46, paid tribute to his beloved brother and said he was "beyond devastated".

He posted a statement on his Twitter account which 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."

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.

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

Those wishing to pay their respects to Father Dermott Donnelly have been invited to do so in St Michael's Church or asked to watch the service online (PA)

Friend and colleague Father Peter Kyi Maung, who served with Dermott at St Joseph's Church, spoke out and said he thinks he may have died from a bleed on the brain.

He explained: "He was hardly breathing in the bed, it was so sad. They think he had bleeding on the brain."

Fr Maung added: "Declan had come to be with him and their mum was there as well, I saw her at the hospital and it was so hard for her, a mother seeing her dying son.

"When she hugged me, I knew how much she was suffering."

The funeral mass will be celebrated at 12:05pm on Friday 29 July at St Mary’s Cathedral.

The funeral will be live streamed online, as well as at St Michael’s Church where Fr Donnelly served for over 30 years.

The mass will be live streamed on the St Mary’s Cathedral website , and they have also provided a direct link to the YouTube page where well-wishers will be able to watch the service. You can find it here .

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