Patrick Prendergast (abbot)

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Father Patrick Prendergast, last Abbot of Cong and guardian of the Cross of Cong, 1741 to 1829.

Prendergast may have been a seminarian at St Omer, which was suppressed in 1791. A Patricius Prendergast of the diocese of Tuam is noted as having graduated Bachelor in utroque jure from Paris in June 1783.

Prendergast was appointed parish priest of Cong in 1795, and was the last titular abbot of the Augustinian Abbey. Sir William Wilde described him as a very fine, courteous, white-haired old man.

Prendergast not only re-discovered the Cross of Cong, he appears to have been responsible for the return to Ireland of the Cathach of St. Columba from Belgium in the early 19th century.

Prendergast died in 1829 and was succeeded by Fr. Patrick Waldron.


  • The Return of the Cathach to Ireland, Michael Herity, in Seanchas:Studies in Early and Medieval Irish Archaeology, History and Literature in Honour of Francis John Byrne, p. 461, 62, 63; Dublin, 2000.