Irish man engaged to Michelle Dockery dies after long illness

John Dineen (34) worked in London but was originally from Waterfall near Cork city

John Dineen and Michelle Dockery at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. File photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

John Dineen and Michelle Dockery at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. File photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

 

An Irish man who was engaged to Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery has died after a long illness.

John Dineen, who was a public relations director with the FTI Consulting firm in London, was originally from Waterfall near Cork city.

The 34-year-old died on Sunday morning in Marymount Hospice in Co Cork.

Dockery, who turned 34 today, is understood to have spent the couple’s final days together visiting the hospice where Mr Dineen was being cared for in recent weeks.

In a brief statement the family appealed for privacy as they made the final preparations for a private funeral service in Co Cork tomorrow.

“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,” a spokeswoman said for the actress said.

The couple are thought to have started dating in September 2013 after being introduced by Irish actor Allen Leech, who stars alongside Dockery in the ITV period drama.

Dockery, who played Lady Mary Crawley on the hit TV series, was recently on a promotional tour for Downton Abbey in the US.

The couple guarded their privacy closely with the actress only briefly referencing the love of her life in an interview over a year ago where she said she had a “wonderful man in my life from Ireland”.

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

PA