Birth and death:
Place of birth: Mayne, Co. Westmeath, Republic of Ireland
Arrival in Canada: 1957
Affiliations: Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 183; Ontario Labourers’ District Council,
Michael J. Reilly was born in the Mayne County, Republic of Ireland. He immigrated to Canada in 1957. Like many of his fellow Irish newcomers, Reilly went to work as a lead miner (tunneler) in the building of the University subway line. That same year he joined the Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 183, then led by its founder and fellow Irishman Gerry Gallagher. Three years later, Reilly was elected president of the local, a position that he combined with that of business agent until 1969. That year he left Local 183 to manage the newly-created Ontario Labourers’ District Council, a position he held until 1972. The following year he returned to Local 183 as assistant business manager to John Stefanini. Three years later he was re-elected president of the local. In the 1980s, Reilly became secretary-treasurer. After Stefanini retired as business manager, Reilly assumed that position in the interim, until 1995.