The funeral of Father Dermott Donnelly is set to take place today - as his brother was yesterday seen carrying his coffin into a Newcastle church.

Father Donnelly, who was a priest at St Joseph's Church in Stanley in County Durham, died earlier this month aged 55.

On Thursday night, Dec was pictured at St Michael's Church in Newcastle for an evening mass at around 7pm ahead of the funeral today.

It is thought Dec and best friend Ant McPartlin plus dozens of relatives from his parents’ native country, Ireland are expected to attend this morning.

Following Father Donnelly's death, Dec, 46, previously paid tribute to his beloved sibling and said he was "beyond devastated."

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His tweet said: "I am heartbroken to tell you that my darling brother Fr Dermott, sadly passed away this afternoon. We are all beyond devastated. Thank you for your messages of sympathy and support, they are appreciated."

A statement shared by the diocese of Hexham and Newcastle previously said: “It is with great sadness that we have to inform you of the death of Fr Dermott Donnelly who died peacefully this afternoon in hospital.

“This has come as a great shock to all of us.

“Please pray for the repose of his soul and keep his family, especially his mother, in your prayers at this difficult time.”

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