John Dineen, 34, died on Sunday of a rare form of cancer.
Dineen passed away at Marymount Hospice in Cork, Ireland, with Downton Abbey star fiancée Michelle Dockery at his bedside. In a statement, Dockery thanked the public for their “support and kindness” before making a request to be allowed to “grieve in private.”
According to People, Dineen was diagnosed earlier this year. Dineen sought a new form of treatment in Germany before returning home to Cork. He was a senior director at FTI Consulting in London.
According to the Irish Independent, Dockery spent her fiancé’s final days going “to great lengths to support the family as much as possible.” While Dockery’s costars are on a Downton Abbey promotional tour in the U.S., she cut her job duties short to spend time with Dineen.
The two began dating in September 2013 after being introduced by Dockery’s Downton Abbey costar Allen Leech. Although the couple never commented publicly on their relationship, Dockery was spotted with an engagement ring during screen tests for the show earlier this year.
The engagement remains unconfirmed as the two were very private about their relationship. In September 2014, she placated a reporter with the statement, “I have a wonderful man in my life from Ireland. We were introduced by Allen Leech. That’s all you need to know.” In a heartbreaking turn, today is Dockery’s birthday.
In a 2014 interview with SheKnows, Dockery emphasized that she is good at “holding it together” and handling stressful situations. Our hearts go out to Dockery and Dineen’s family in this awful situation.
There will be a requiem funeral mass in Ireland tomorrow.