Waterford born Michael had been an invaluable member of the FAI’s Competitions Department for so many years and his passing is a huge loss to Irish football.
Leading the tributes to the genial Michael, FAI President Gerry McAnaney said: “We are all shocked at this news tonight. Our thoughts and prayers are with Michael’s family at this difficult and unexpected time.
“We are still coming to terms with this sad and sudden news. The sense of loss that is already so obvious within the FAI, and within Irish football, shows you the esteem in which we all held Michael Hayes.**
“Michael was a font of knowledge around everything to do with Irish football. What he didn’t know about our rules, our history and our game wasn’t worth knowing.* May he rest in peace.”

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Everyone at the Football Association of Ireland is tonight shocked and saddened by the sudden death of our colleague Michael Hayes, following a very brief illness.