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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Amy Denman

Declan Donnelly delivers heartbreaking eulogy at brother Father Dermott's funeral

Declan Donnelly has spoken of the 'immeasurable loss' of his brother and paid tribute to Father Dermott Donnelly at his beloved priest brother's funeral service.

The Saturday Night Takeaway star, 46, stood in front of the congregation at St Mary’s Cathedral in his hometown of Newcastle to share special memories of his brother on Friday July 29, in a service which was streamed on YouTube.

Dressed in a black suit with a white shirt, black tie and matching black waistcoat, Dec spoke lovingly of his brother Dermott, who passed away at the age of 55 earlier this month.

Speaking of his grief for his brother, Declan broke down as he admitted he "can't understand why he's gone".

Declan, who's best pal Ant McPartlin also attended the service, said: "Unfortunately, today our world is a slightly worse place because Dermott is no longer with us.

"He still had so much more he wanted to do. So many more lives he needed to influence to inspire change.

"I can't believe he's gone. I can't understand why he's gone," he said as he fought back tears.

Dec continued: "But we trust that God has took him because his talents were needed elsewhere. We as a family and of course many, many, many others will miss him immeasurably. Rest in peace Dermott."

Elsewhere in the emotional speech, Declan thanked those who had shared tributes to Father Dermott following his passing.

He said: "We'd also like to say a huge thank you for the amazing tributes, the messages of support we've received over the last three weeks have been simply overwhelmed with the kindness will be shown.

"So thank you for all your thoughts, your prayers and wishes they're appreciated."

Declan carried his brother's coffin into St Mary’s Cathedral ahead of the Catholic service (Andy Commins / Daily Mirror)

Declan also recalled fond memories from his childhood with Dermott, whom he shared an incredibly close bond with.

He said: "We were brought up a stone's throw from here up the road, in St Michael's Parish – big up St Michael's.

"We shared a three bedroom house, four boys in one room, three girls in the other and mum and dad in the smallest room in the middle of us to stop us fighting.

Dec shared an incredibly close bond with his brother (Chronicle Live)

"Dermott and I, being the youngest boys, were cosigned to the bottom bunks. And on the occasions where my five or six year old overactive imagination created monsters under the bed or vampires in closets, I would run out of my bed, jump into Dermott's bunk and he would calm me down in the middle of the night with stories."

Declan also spoke of his beloved brother's charity and outreach work as he launched the charitable foundations Significance, which helped created opportunities for young people "to help realise their own significance".

He added of Dermott: "He was so very, very passionate about his new charity and about giving young people hope and spiritual guidance and a feeling of self worth and more importantly, Significance. That charity really is still in its infancy, but it will now become his legacy."

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