By Philip Boucher and Nicola Bryne
December 18, 2016 at 04:38 PM EST
David M.Benett/Centrepoint/Getty Images

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Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery has been left devastated after her Irish fiancé died of a rare form of cancer, PEOPLE has confirmed.

Commercial public relations executive John Dineen died on Sunday at the Marymount Hospice in Cork, with Dockery at his bedside. He was just 34.

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In a statement released through her publicist, Dockery thanked the public for the “support and kindness” the family has received, before adding that she “kindly request that they are left to grieve in private.”

Dineen, from Cork, Ireland, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer earlier this year.

A senior director at London-based FTI consulting, he is believed to have returned home to Ireland and sought pioneering treatment in Germany following his diagnosis, reports the Irish Independent.

The couple started dating in September 2013 after being introduced by Downton costar Allen Leech

Despite their best attempts to keep the romance out of the spotlight, Dockery briefly let her guard slip in September 2014, saying: “I have a wonderful man in my life from Ireland.”

Marymount hospice where Dineen died on Sunday morning specializes in palliative cancer treatment.