Declan Kelly was born on 11 November 1945 at Cooraclare, County Clare, Ireland. 

He was educated at Saint Flannanís College, Ennis and Saint Patrickís College, Carlow. He was ordained at Carlow Cathedral on 7 June 1969.  He was a Curate at
Saint Mary's Church, Irvine till 1970, Saint Brendanís Church, Saltcoats till 1971, the Church of The Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Girvan till August 1974 and the Church of Saint Peter in Chains till 28 November 1980. He was the Parish Priest of the Church of Saint Thomas the Apostle, Muirkirk from then till he left the priesthood in 1985.

He married Maggie and they had two sons, PJ and Sean.

Declan died on 26 November 2016. Father Willie Boyd was the principal celebrant of his Requiem Mass in
Saint Mary's Church, Irvine on 6 December. Other concelebrants were Father Martin Chambers, Father Eamonn Flynn, Father Gerry Magee, Father Eddie McGhee and Canon Matt McManus.