Creagh, Sir Michael (d. 1738), lord mayor of Dublin, merchant and property owner of Bridge St., was son of Christopher Creagh, the great-great-grandson of Christopher Creagh (fl. 1541) – a man of immense influence and power among the Old English and native Irish – and nephew of the confederate John Creagh of Ballyvolane, Co. Clare (fl. 1642). His mother's maiden name was O'Driscoll. As lord mayor of Dublin in 1689 he received King James II (qv) on his arrival in the city in March 1689. MP for Dublin in the 1689 parliament, he later raised a regiment at his own expense in support of the Jacobite cause. According to a French muster roll of the Irish Jacobite army in 1689 it contained 633 men. It was considered to be the best equipped and most efficient in the army, serving at Derry, Dundalk, the Boyne, the frontier at Ballyclough, and Cork.
After the Williamite victory Creagh was accused of having stolen the regalia of the corporation of Dublin which had been presented to the city by Charles II. The historian J. C. O'Callaghan (qv) disputed this, arguing that Sir Michael's mayoralty had expired in March 1689 and that he was followed in succession by Aldermen Terence Dermot and Walter Motley; he would not have had the regalia in his possession when he left the country. Nevertheless it became customary in the next century, during the annual procession of the lord mayor and corporation, to stop at the Essex gate and summon Sir Michael to return the official collar granted to the corporation by Charles II.
Creagh emigrated to France after the end of the Jacobite war and later moved to the Netherlands. According to his own testimony he resided in Amsterdam for seven years. In November 1713 he petitioned the tory grandee Robert Harley, earl of Oxford, for his patronage and protection. It is not clear whether this petition bore fruit, although he wrote another letter to Harley the following month thanking him for his kindness to his wife and children and asking him to intercede with Viscount Bolingbroke, that he might obtain employment in the foreign service.
Creagh had returned to Ireland by the mid 1720s and turned his attention to regaining his confiscated estates. A report from the commissioners of the forfeited estates to the English parliament in December 1699 noted that Thomas Coningsby (qv) ‘seized all the plate and goods in the house of Sir Michael Creagh which were thought to amount to a great value’. His confiscated property was later sold to Robert Wandesford and Anne Ormsby. Shortly after his return (c.1724) he also became involved in an exchange of broadsheets regarding his conversion to protestantism with William King (qv), the protestant archbishop of Dublin, and Dr Cashin, the Roman Catholic priest of St Andrew's parish. He also published a number of broadsheets on matters relating to the public good and the administration of justice in Dublin. He tried to gain the favour of the lord lieutenant, Lord Carteret (qv), by composing a poem on his arrival in Dublin and later petitioned him for a restoration of his properties. In this broadsheet he decried the deficiencies and defects that had crept into the administration of justice, the onus on the claimant to find out and summons all the tenants of the disputed properties, the needless waste of public moneys, and the exorbitant fees of attorneys and solicitors.
In another broadsheet, Seasonable advice to the magistrates and chief inhabitants of the city of Dublin, he argued that Dublin had become too large in proportion to the rest of Ireland. He deplored overpopulation, immigration, and rural depopulation, the proliferation of ale-houses, gin-houses, and whore-houses, the over-expenditure on housing to the detriment of trade and commerce, and the destruction of recreational areas, walkways, and ornaments. Creagh failed in his attempt to regain his confiscated properties and had to be helped from the public funds in 1732, 1733, and 1734. He died intestate in 1738.