Nicholas de Sales Prendergast - 1 Dec 1920

1920 Dec 1. N de S Prendergast was murdered by 4 Auxiliaries.

This was a few days after the Kilmichael ambush .

These were the men in the frame

About 11pm a number of Auxiliaries arrived at the Royal Hotel and - and here the stories diverge again but the best account seems to be that - four auxiliaries and a local man were heard scuffling in the toilets. The 5 men returned apparently peacefully to the bar but it soon turned ugly again and Prendergast was accused of being 'a Shinner'. He was forced to kneel but refused to comply, was forcibly taken outside to the Square and it was here an Auxiliary known as 'Jock' (note both Watson and Jackson, among the 4 suspects, were Scottish born) was seen to strike him violently on the head with a revolver, Prendergast immediately collapsing. The time was then about 11.30pm.

Nicholas de Sales Prendergast, a 44 year old married man, was proprietor of the Blackwater Hotel and professor of languages at St Colman's College. A Wexford man, he had served as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Prince of Wales's Leinster Regiment (the Royal Canadians), commissioned on 8 Feb 1916, Lieutenant (attached the Leinster Regt) 10 August 1917, later Captain, the Royal Munster Fusiliers. The 4 Auxiliaries then dragged Prendergast to the River Blackwater and threw him in. Actual cause of death was recorded as asphyxiation (he swallowed his dentures) although primary cause of death were the fractures sustained to the head. 

Following the disposal of the body, drinking continued in the Grand Hotel and a number of shops were attacked and burned in the evening. Some attempts were made by the Auxiliaries to cut fire hoses, but other reports also state that as well as hindering the fire brigades, some Auxiliaries also assisted them.

Inquest in full on this file

IRA Intelligence correspondence on the murder. Bence was an Auxiliary