St Finnian resided in a small hut beside the River Lubagh at the time
of St Patrick's conversion of Ireland. His hut was located close to Tobernane,
a little spring. The area was known as Fobar Fionán. St
Finnian led a monastic life in this area, praying and meditating daily.
Residents in the nearby village became curious as to the purpose of his
visit to the area. They observed his actions, and heard his prayers and
psalms. Eventually they became converted to his way of thinking. When
St Finnian left the area, the local people built a house of worship in
his honour, and named it Cill Finnian, the church of Finnian. With the
passing of time the surrounding area became known as Kilfinane.
Local man Patrick "Staker" Wallis was a small farmer who joined the United Irishmen and subscribed to the movement's objectives that all Irishmen should be free. Wallis's views began to annoy the local landlord Captain Charles Oliver, who believed that his life was under threat from the middle-aged farmer. Oliver decided to capture Wallis who tried, unsuccessfully, to evade arrest. Despite repeated torturing from Oliver, Wallis never informed on his friends in the United Irishmen. A few days later he was hanged and beheaded. His head was set on a spike above the market house in the square. A monument stands in the Main Street to commemorate his life and death.
A native of the parish, wrote the following poem on the Moat in Kilfinane.