The 43 year old Killybegs man is still getting used to the idea of taking his seat in the Dail after edging out Tanaiste Mary Coughlan for the last seat in Donegal South West.
But the father-of-three has revealed how life has anything but a cakewalk growing up in Donegal after his mum Carrie kicked out his alcoholic father Peter from their home.
Pringle got used to growing up without a father figure but that still did not prepare him for the shock he got in 1976 when Peter was arrested after the death of Garda Henry Byrne, who was gunned won during a botched bank robbery in Ballaghadereen, Roscommon.
Peter had been away from Donegal a long time and was living in Galway and continuing to drink heavily.
Thomas says he remembers being a 14 year old schoolboy when he heard about his father’s arrest.
“When my father was arrested for the crime, I remember my mother sat us each down individually and explained what had happened. I knew there was something unusual happening because the Gardai were in the house.
“I was devastated. When he was officially given a death sentence I was in shock,” admitted Thomas.
But all the family united behind their father and attended all the court appeals.
Peter’s sentence was eventually repealed by President Patrick Hillery and Peter was sentenced to 40 years in prison instead.
As a boy he regularly travelled to see his father in Portlaoise Prison and recalls how the bus-driver would stop automatically outside the jail when his family were visiting.
That sentence was later quashed in 1995 and Thomas says he never believed his father was guilty.
Thomas revealed how he phoned his father when he finally managed to squeeze out Mary Coughlan from her position during he count in the John Bosco Centre last weekend.
And he admits that there was not shortage of tears during that phonecall.
“I was in shock really and my father was quite emotional. It was very satisfying to beat Mary Coughlan. We had set out form the start to target her seat,” he admitted.
The former fish factory worker admits that he only just bought a suit for the election campaign but declares that he will certainly not wear a tie when the 31st Dail resumes.
“I certainly do not believe that clothes make the man,” he said simply.