The late Michael the First was both a colourful character and a legend in his own life time. Married to Anne he is survived by his family of five sons and one daughter. Both Michael and Anne are buried in the family vault in Bannow Bay Co.Wexford.

In around the year 1920 the ten year old Michael made a vow to his Mother that one day he would own the Saltees and become their first Prince. Twenty three years later in December 1943 he realised his dream. However his coronation on the Great Saltee did not take place until July 1956.

A throne, flag-staff and obleisk were shipped to the Great Saltee, the obelisk bearing a plaque with his likeness in profile. The throne is a memorial to his mother and features a coat of arms and the following inscription:


"This chair is erected in memory of my mother to whom I made a vow when I was ten years old that one day I would own the Saltee Islands and become the First Prince of the Saltees.  Henceforth my heirs and successors can only proclaim themselves Prince of these Islands by sitting in this chair fully garbed in the robes and crown of the Islands and take the Oath of Succession -  Michael the First.


One of the first jobs undertook on the Great Saltee was the leveling of a field in the centre of the island as a landing strip for his private airplanes. He was taught to fly by Capt.Darby Kennedy (Weston Aerodrome) and regularly flew his Miles Messenger aircraft to the islands. Between 1945 and 1950 over 34,000 trees and shrubs were planted on the island. The most successful of these were Cordyline Palms, which are flourishing to this day. 



"It was never my intention to make a profit from these islands.  Day visitors are welcome to come and enjoy at no cost.  Bird watchers will always remain welcome."  - Michael the First
Chair & Obelisk  
Crest & Flag  

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Copyright 2001 Saltee Islands