Pringle, Seton Sidney (1879–1955), surgeon, was born 6 July 1879, son of John Pringle, a merchant businessman, of Clones, Co. Monaghan, and Maria Adelaide Pringle (née King). He was educated at Campbell College, Belfast, the Coleraine Academical Institute, and TCD, where he was awarded the Fitzpatrick and the Dr Henry Hutchinson scholarships, and graduated BA (1902), and MB, BAO, and B.Ch. (1903). Becoming a surgeon to the Mercer hospital (1903–18) – to which his father on his death in 1905 had bequeathed a large amount of money for hospital expansion – Seton Pringle helped raise the status of the hospital as one of the finest surgical teaching centres in Ireland. Made a fellow in 1905 of the RCSI, where he was an examiner in surgery, he was president of the Dublin University Biological Association in 1913, and became surgeon to Cork St. hospital (1913–29). During the first world war he served in France as a surgeon in the urgency cases hospital with the French army, and was a lieutenant colonel in the Royal Army medical corps. He was surgeon to the Dublin Castle Red Cross hospital in 1915, and an officer commanding the Irish counties war hospital, Dublin (1917–19).
In 1918 he succeeded Henry Moore (qv) as visiting surgeon to Baggot St. hospital, where he worked till 1944. One of the outstanding surgeons of his time, Pringle specialised in abdominal surgery, although he was also a proficient genito-urinary surgeon. Known to his students as ‘Satan’, he had a reputation as a swift surgeon. He published articles on cancer of the colon in the Dublin Journal of Medical Science (1920) and the Irish Journal of Medical Science (1927). In 1926 he was a member of the international congress of surgery in Rome, and published his findings, ‘Some impressions of Italian surgery’, in the Irish Journal of Medical Science. He was appointed surgeon to the Royal Hospital for Incurables (1931), and a consultant surgeon to both the Rotunda hospital (1932) and the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital (1935). Elected to the RCSI council in 1920, he served as the college's president (1934–6). He was awarded in 1936 with an honorary M.Ch. and an OBE. At the Biological Club in 1937 he spoke on the technique of X-ray therapy as a post-operative treatment for breast cancer, the culmination of fifteen-years research and applied technique; his article ‘Deep X-ray therapy in cancer of the breast' was published in the Irish Journal of Medical Science. He was an honorary lecturer on pathology of the bone at TCD, and a president of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland (1940–42).
Pringle married Ethel McMunn (d. 1938), a daughter of Andrew McMunn, a doctor, of Ballymote, Co. Sligo; they had three sons and two daughters. He married secondly Eileen Florence Blandford. He resided at 7 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin, where he had a large private practice. On his retirement from active surgery in 1944 he received a presentation from Drumcondra hospital, where he had been senior visiting surgeon since 1915. Moving to Ringlestown House, Kilmessan, Co. Meath, a home described as a ‘Georgian gem’, he spent his time fishing on the Boyne river and managing his farm. He was president of the council of the St John ambulance brigade (1946–55) and a commander officer of the Order of St John of Jerusalem. He died 10 November 1955 at his home, and was interred in Clones, Co. Monaghan.