Finin has been working as a blacksmith nearly his whole life, at 16 he became an apprentice with the National Railway here in Ireland, where he trained for 5 years by the same men who had apprenticed under Finins grandfather many years before.Finin’s grandfather, James Christie, was considered one of Ireland’s best blacksmiths.
Striking out on his own back in the 1980s, he tells some very funny tales about the time early on in his career, when he would cycle across Dublin city looking for bent or damaged gates to repair, with (amazingly!) his anvil strapped to his back and the hammer and tongs strapped to the handlebars !
Just a year later Finin was able to buy his first own van, the next year he registered his own business and began getting steady work. “There was no work then, but I made work,” Finin says. “And I’ve been working for myself ever since.”
His hard work paid off and eventually he became the official contractor for the City of Dublin. Over the next 16 years, he worked on government buildings, city parks and county council houses, growing the business to provide work for a team of 18 men.
It was during this time Finin met his lovely wife Samantha and together they created a loving family with 5 children.
Now Finin lives in the small village of Colgreany and works on special projects, including restoring old gates and railings from the forge at the back of his home using only traditional methods, taking time out to teach classes and workshops and to travel the world representing Ireland in various Smithing competitions. He recently won the Mjonøy Blacksmith Challenge, held in Vinje, Norway, where he and his team had to make a full sized Ram for the competition !