New book on history of Londonderry Militia to be launched in Derry

A new book exploring the role of a local regiment who operated in the 18th and 19th Century will be launched at the Tower Museum next month.

The Londonderry Militia (1793-1816) by James Allistair Bodkin tells the previously untold story of the 16th regiment of the Irish militia who were largely made up of weavers and labourers from the county. The launch on Saturday, November 19 at 2pm will feature a presentation by the author followed by a book signing.

Author James Allistair Bodkin said: “The Irish militia had a dual role to counter the internal insurgency with the United Irishmen and the threat of foreign invasion.

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“The locations where the Londonderry militia encountered the United Irishmen included perhaps the most famous and decisive battle during the 1798 Rebellion at Vinegar Hill.

History of Londonderry Militia to be uncovered in new book.

“There were many other military actions including those at Drumsna bridge, Boyle, Blackbull, Dunboyne, Leixlip, Blackmore Hill, Tubberneering (Gorey), Arklow, Foulks Mills, Killala and Tullamore. These actions set Irishmen against Irishmen.”

The Irish Militia were formed to replace the 'Volunteers' who both parliaments of the kingdom thought had too much power. Although initially set-up as a part-time force, they went on to serve across Ireland and England, apart from two very short breaks, between 1793 and 1816.

Archivist Bernadette Walsh said: “The book is ideal for both the military historian as well as the genealogist since it includes several appendices that contain all the names of the officers and also the musters of the Londonderry militia in 1793 and 1798.

“These two musters alone contain the names of nearly 1400 men, it will be a valuable addition to any reference library.”

The book is available to preorder now at

Booking for the launch is essential by emailing [email protected] or calling 028 71 372411.