Michelle Dockery thanks fans after fiance's shock death

Michelle Dockery has thanked fans for their "kindness and support" following the death of her fiancé.

The 'Downton Abbey' star has been left devastated after John Dineen, who she reportedly got engaged to in February, passed away at Marymount Hospice in Cork, Ireland on Sunday after battling a rare form of cancer.

Michelle and John at a tennis match. Source: Getty

A spokesperson for Michelle 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."

John was just 34 when he died and Michelle - who plays Lady Mary Crawley in the ITV series - had jetted back from the US last week, where she had been on the promotional trail for 'Downton Abbey's final series to be with him.

MailOnline reports that John had left London where he worked as a financial PR to return to Cork to be with his family after he was diagnosed.

He is also believed to have had treatment for his illness in Germany earlier this year.

According to the Irish Examiner, John had been ill for some time.

Michelle and John. Source: Getty

A private funeral for the Irishman is expected to take place in Cork, where he is from, tomorrow).

Michelle, 34, has been dating John since May 2013 and rarely commented publicly on their relationship but has praised him for being a "wonderful man".

She said: "I have a wonderful man in my life from Ireland. We were introduced by ['Downton Abbey' co-star] Allen Leech. That's all you need to know."

Michelle and her 'Downton Abbey' castmates. Source: AAP

In a recent magazine interview she added: "I've got people around me who I can turn to for advice: my mum, and my partner, John."

And Allen - who stars as Mary's brother-in-law Tom Branson - has also been full of praise for John in the past saying: "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."

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