Patrick Coleman Jennings was born in Francis Street, Dundalk, County Louth. He was the fourth son of Patrick Jennings and Anne Coleman. He was baptised on the 11th of May 1845, called Patrick after his father. His baptismal sponsors were Daniel Jennings and Mary Coleman. Mary Coleman may have been his aunt. His second name, Coleman, was his mother’s maiden name. This was possibly the first time a maternal surname is recorded being used as a proper name in the Jennings family, though it became more common later - Ignatius Ronayne Bray Jennings[b. 1850], for example, Charles Blake Jennings, and so on.
On the 15th of July 1871 a dramatic news item appeared in the Dundalk Herald. It opened as follows:
About five o’clock on Monday evening it became known in town that a man died quite suddenly in Messrs. Jennings timber yard, Francis-street; but when in a short time it became rumoured that the man had met with foul play – in fact had been set upon by Messrs. Jennings’ employes, and beaten in such a manner as to cause death – so ran the tongue of rumour considerable excitement was the result, and numbers hastened to Messrs. Jennings’ establishment, to learn the truth.
There then followed a long and detailed account of the incident. An open verdict was returned:We find that James Carroll, died suddenly in a yard in Francis Street, Dundalk, on the evening of Monday 10th July 1871, from congestion of the blood vessels of the head and brain, causing compression of the latter, but there is not sufficiency of evidence before us to show how caused.
George Garstin was however re-arrested and released on bail.
Patrick and his brother Joseph carried on the family business in Dundalk after their father’s death in 1873, as P. Jennings and Co., and Patrick continued to live in 5 Francis Street, possibly with his unmarried sister Julia. He held licenses for a variety of dogs over many years, including a white fox terrier, a red water spaniel, a brindle bull terrier and a black collie.
Patrick’s name appears four times in the Petty Sessions Courts between 1873 and 1875. Three times he was a defendant charged with being in possession of light or unjust weights. On the fourth occasion, in May 1875, he was again the defendant in a more serious case brought by the Town Commissioners of Dundalk and was charged that ‘no proper Privy or Ash pit is provided for the use of the persons in occupation of or using said house, Quay and premises whereby said premises and said existing nuisance have become and are injurious to Public Health and that the said nuisance is caused by the Act or Default of you the said Owner and Occupier of said premises.’ The premises in question was situated in Quay Street.
In 1888 Patrick Jennings was vice chairman in the Harbour Commissioners Office, Quay Street, Dundalk. At that time Patrick Jennings and Co, Francis Street, Dundalk, were Ironmongers and Hardware-men, Timber and Slate Merchants and had iron and steam sawmills.
In 1909 he was on the council of the Dundalk Chamber of Commerce.
Patrick Coleman Jennings died on the 5th January 1921 at 5 Francis Street, Dundalk. He was a bachelor, 75 years old, and described as a Timber Merchant in the death register. His brother Joseph Daniel of Seatown Place, Haggardstown, was present at his death as he had been present at their sister Julia’s death three years earlier. Patrick died of senile decay and syncope.