Joseph Finnigan was a professional rower from the Felling Shore on the River Tyne.
Bell's Life (24th July 1877) reported:
Joseph Finnigan of the Felling Shore and Francis Emmett of Jarrow have been matched to row on the Tyne in open boats from the High Level Bridge to Sir William Armstrong's high crane, about two miles, on September 3rd for £25 a side. £5 a side has been posted with Mr. John Simpson of the Queens Arms, Jarrow and a like sum falls due with Mr. Robert Fittes, Squire Arms, Heworth Lane. Finnigan has been on the shelf for some time past but on his day, it took a good man such as Wm. Nicholson of Stockton to lower his colours. About Emmett, very little is known except from rumour, but he is a thick-set, likely looking young fellow to make a rower.