Source: Hexham and Newcastle Diocese
Hundreds gathered for a Requiem Mass at St Mary's Cathedral, Newcastle, on 29 July for the funeral of Fr Dermott Donnelly. During the service Emeritus Bishop Séamus Cunningham, former Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle, said, "some people talk a lot but do very little; Dermott said little but did a lot." Hexham and Newcastle Bishop Robert Byrne said, "it is with great gratitude that we will remember him and all he selflessly gave."
A priest at St Joseph's Church in Stanley, County Durham, he was best known for his work with young people and youth ministry. CAFOD described him as "a great friend of CAFOD."
TV star Declan Donnelly paid tribute to his older brother. In emotional words, the I'm a Celebrity host said, "we can't believe he's gone, we still can't understand why he's gone, but we trust God took him because his talents were needed elsewhere." He recalled that as a boy, "when a lot of the other children were playing doctors and nurses or soldiers, Dermott wanted to play mass." Declan's friend Ant McPartlin described Fr Dermott as "the kindest, wisest man I knew," adding: "Rest in peace my friend, you will never be forgotten."
Dec, who helped to carry Fr Dermott's coffin into the cathedral, also spoke with pride about his brother's service to his faith and his determination to inspire the lives of young people by establishing the Youth Ministry Team and the Youth Village in Consett.
Fr Dermott died on 8 July 2022, aged 55, following a serious illness. He had recently celebrated 30 years of service to his parish and community.
Video of Funeral Service: