Patrick began his business in Dundalk in 1826 by taking over the premises of the late Mr Charles on Francis Street. He was 27 years old.
IRON AND DEAL YARD.
Patrick Jennings begs leave to acquaint his Friends and the Public, that he has commenced the IRON and DEAL TRADE, in that concern formerly occupied but he late Mr Charles, Frances-Street, Dundalk, where he has now an assortment of those Articles of best quality, which he will sell at moderate prices. He daly [sic] expects the Endeavour, from Dronheim with a Cargo of DOUBLE DEALS, PLANKS, &c _ 1st Nov. 1826.
He quickly began to make his mark in the business life of the town, assisted no doubt by his connection, though his marriage in 1829 to Anne Coleman, to the Coleman family.
In 1828 he was a steward in the Louth Independent Club together with John Colman M. D. and James Carragher who was Croupier, this was, historically the assistant chairman at a public dinner, seated at the lower end of the table.
Patrick Jennings used advertising extensively to promote his business with obvious results.
CROWN MEMEL TIMBER,
DEALS, STAVES AND LATHWOOD,
Is now Landing the Cargo of the Bellona. T. T. ZIEPKE,
Master, from Memel, containing
224 pieces Crown Memel Timber;
500 Ditto Crown Redwood Deals, twelve to twenty feet;
720 Ditto Crown Oak Pipe Staves;
4 Fathoms Lathwood;
Which he offers for SALE, at his stores, Frances-Street,
Dundalk, June 5, 1837.
In 1838 the Valuation Office Books gave a comprehensive description of his premises.
Francis Street. A good business street, only a few private houses in it composed mostly of shops and public houses.
Patrick Jennings. House, Stores, Offices and Yard. Good Coal and Timber yard and gateway entrance from street. Altogether a good concern well fitted up for the Coal, Timber and Iron Trade.
In 1847 Patrick’s eldest son Daniel died. He had been a student at Clongowes College, in County Kildare.
There was widespread famine in the country. Little was being done to help the starving and cuttings from the Newry Examiner for December 19th 1847 show sailings into Dundalk consisted mainly of coal with only one of Indian corn [meal]. The ISABELLA, under Captain Mathews, brought coal for Patrick Jennings from Cardiff,
On the other hand, sailings from Dundalk listed immediately below the arrivals were ships laden with all kinds of food.
On December 18th the PRIDE OF ERIN had sailed for Liverpool carrying a cargo of 12 boxes of eggs, 10 boxes of dead fowl, 11 Crates of live fowl, 16 boxes of butter.326 firkins of butter, 94 bags of oatmeal, 24 bags of oats, 134 bags of shellfish, I horse, 265 sheep, 283 pigs, 24 cows.
The PRIDE OF ERIN sailed again for Liverpool on the 23rd of December with a similar cargo except this time she also carried 13 puncheons of whiskey, 1 hamper of rabbits and 90 cows.
Meanwhile deaths from starvation continued to be reported in the press.
In 1862 Patrick’s eldest daughter Anne became a Sister of Mercy in the convent in Dundalk. She had entered the convent in 1860. She took the name Sister Mary Ursula.
RECEPTION AND PROFESSION IN THE CONVENT OF THE SISTERS OF MERCY.
We witnessed this morning in the Convent of the Sisters of Mercy, Dundalk, one of the most solemn and interesting ceremonies observed in the Catholic Church, in which Miss Jennings, (in religion Sister Mary Ursula), daughter of Patrick Jennings, Esq., of this town, made her vows, and received the black veil…The ceremonies took place in the beautiful Chapel of the Convent, and were witnessed by a considerable number of the most respectable families belonging to the town and county…. The ceremonies were performed in the unavoidable absence of the Lord Primate, by the most Rev. Dr. Moriarty, Lord Bishop of Kerry.
Anne Jennings died in 1878 in the Convent of the Sisters of Mercy in Dundalk. She was 44.