Hayes, Michael (d. 1803), builder, was originally from Co. Tipperary but his background is otherwise obscure. He was already a master bricklayer when he was retained around 1782 by Robert Brooke (qv) for the new industrial settlement called ‘Prosperous’ in north Co. Kildare. Though the project was financially disastrous for its promoter, it appears to have been a profitable venture for Hayes, who acquired property in the village for himself. His work in Prosperous probably ceased in 1786. In 1791 he obtained from the Grand Canal Company the contract for stonework from Lowtown Lock (the end of the canal at that date) to the canal's terminus at Shannon Harbour. His masons, like many other workmen on the undertaking, pressed for higher wages and he was forced to renegotiate his contract price with the company, which offered a bonus for completion by November 1803.
Hayes appears in the records of the Irish house of commons in February 1800 as one of the ‘suffering loyalists’ who claimed for damages sustained in the rebellion of 1798. Described as an ‘architect’, his losses included two houses and amounted to £284, though it is not stated if his claim was allowed.
His wife's name was Eleanor; they had four sons: one of these, Denis, continued in the same business after his father's death, which occurred shortly before November 1803.