‘Downton Abbey’ Star Michelle Dockery’s Fiancé Has Tragically Passed Away at 34

R.I.P.

Michelle Dockery is mourning the death of her fiancé John Dineen, who tragically passed away at the age of 34 from a long-term illness.

People confirms that the Downton Abbey star’s fiancé passed away with Dockery at his bedside on Sunday (Dec. 13) at the Marymount Hospice in Cork, an Irish hospice specializing in palliative cancer treatment.

A statement released by the actor’s publicist states:

The family is very grateful for the support and kindness they have received but would kindly request that they are left to grieve in private.

Dockery was in the US just last week doing promotion for Downton’s sixth and final season. She was spotted arriving to London’s Heathrow airport on Thursday to be by his side at Marymount Hospice, where he was being cared for in recent weeks.

It’s believed that the couple began dating in September 2013 after being introduced by Dockery’s Downton co-star Allen Leech. They kept their relationship very private and out of the spotlight for the most part, with the exception of Dockery’s brief comment about Dineen last year: “I have a wonderful man in my life from Ireland. We were introduced by [Downton co-star] Allen Leech. That’s all you need to know.”

In addition, in an interview with Red Magazine published last month, Dockery commented, “I’ve got people around me who I can turn to for advice: my mum, and my partner, John. But, at this stage, my instincts are pretty good.”

While Dockery never confirmed her engagement publicly, in February of this year their engagement buzz surfaced in the news. Daily Mail reported that she was planning her “dream wedding,” while a source reportedly told The Sun, “She’s over the moon and was showing [her ring] off to all of the cast and crew.”

The Guardian reports that Leech has commented of the pair, “John’s like family to me and I knew he’d really get on with Michelle. She’s a great girl – probably as far from Lady Mary as you could imagine.”

Dineen was a senior director at London-based FTI consulting firm. The Irish Independent reports that following his diagnosis, he returned home to Ireland and sought treatment in Germany.

Today (Dec. 15) is also Dockery’s 34th birthday.

Downton Abbey’s final episode, a feature-length special, will be broadcast on Christmas Day.

[People]