Michelle Dockery, known for her role as Downton Abbey’s Lady Mary, has lost her fiancé to a rare form of cancer. People reports that John Dineen, a commercial public-relations executive from Cork, Ireland, passed away on Sunday, at the Marymount Hospice in Cork, with Dockery at his bedside. He was 34. In a statement, Dockery said, “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 and Dineen, who was a senior director at the London-based FTI Consulting, started dating in September 2013 after being introduced by Dockery’s Downton co-star Allen Leech, who plays Tom Branson. For the most part, the couple had kept their relationship private, with Dockery only briefly mentioning to the press in September 2014 that she had “a wonderful man in my life from Ireland.” News of their engagement broke a few months later when she arrived at Downton screen tests wearing an engagement ring. After receiving his cancer diagnosis earlier this year, Dineen sought pioneering treatment in Germany and reportedly returned home to Ireland to be with his family.
A private funeral mass will be held Wednesday. Dockery, whose birthday is today, had previously cut short her U.S. promotional tour for Downton Abbey to be with Dineen and his family.