Michelle Dockery grieving after fiance John Dineen dies
Michelle Dockery’s fiance John Dineen has died in hospital aged 34 after suffering a long-term illness.
The Downton Abbey actress, whose birthday is today, had been in a relationship with Mr Dineen since 2013 after the pair were introduced by actor Allen Leech.
Mr Dineen died in Cork s Marymount Hospital on Sunday morning after being diagnosed with cancer, it has been reported.
The hospital is known for its pain management facilities in Ireland, specialising in palliative care services for terminally ill patients. He is understood to have been treated in London before returning home to Ireland.
A funeral service is expected to take place in Cork on Wednesday.
Dockery is reported to have flown back from the US to be with Mr Dineen and his family in his final hours, visiting the Marymount Hospice.
She was due to celebrate her 34th birthday today, December 15.
A spokesman for Michelle 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.
The actress has recently been touring the United States with the cast of Downton Abbey as part of a publicity tour for the show.
Days ago she appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Watch What Happens Live as part of her promotional obligations.
She did not feature in the cast’s latest photograph, taken by Allen Leech on December 11 outside the White House.
In October, she unexpectedly pulled out of London play Les Liaisons Dangereuses . At the time, no reason was given for her departure.
It is understood Mr Dineen has been battling illness for months.
A senior director with FTI Consulting, he grew up on a farm near Cork and is believed to have proposed to Dockery in February.
The couple had been photographed together at the Venice Film Festival, Wimbledon and at polo s Cartier Queen s Cup, but had rarely spoken of their relationship.
In 2014, the actress said: “I have a wonderful man in my life from Ireland. We were introduced by Allen Leech. That’s all you need to know.”
In an interview with Red Magazine, published this month, she spoke of the security her relationship brought her, confiding: “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.”
Leech, who plays Tom Branson in the ITV period drama, has said of introducing them: “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.”