Michael Reilly was born in Drumilly, County Armagh, Ireland on 31 December 1874. His parents were Peter Reilly and his wife, Ann Jane Brannan or McCartney. Michael had siblings Elizabeth Mary, Peter, Anne, Michael, John, Anne, Catherine, Mary, Patrick, Rose Ann and Margaret.

On 19 October 1911, Michael Reilly, a butter and egg merchant and Ellen McCarroll were married in the Church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, Saltcoats, by Father James McCarroll assisted by Father Patrick Reilly. Michael and Ellen were the parents of Peter, Mary and Michael Reilly.

Michael played a significant role in securing land for and progressing the building of the Church of Saint Peter in Chains.

Michael Reilly died at his home, Drumilly, 55 Manse Street, Saltcoats on 6 November 1946. He is buried in Ardrossan Cemetery.

The photograph right was taken in the 1930s.