Territorials and Militia

Men of the Territorial Army have played, and continue to play, a huge part in the Royal Irish Regiment

The Territorial Army was not organised in Northern Ireland until 1947 although two small TA units had been created in 1937 followed by a heavy anti-aircraft artillery Regiment in August 1939. As a result no TA battalions of Inniskillings or Irish Fusiliers served in either World War.

However, The Royal Ulster Rifles had The London Irish Rifles as its TA partner from 1937 when The London Regiment, to which the London Irish had previously belonged, was broken up. Two London Irish battalions served in the Mediterranean theatre during the Second World War, one as part of The Irish Brigade. In the Great War soldiers of the London Irish had advanced into Battle at Loos in September 1915 dribbling a football before them; Loos Day is still commemorated in the London Irish Rifles to this day.

The TA battalions created in Northern Ireland in 1947 were 5th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, 6th Royal Ulster Rifles and 5th Royal Irish Fusiliers. In 1967 a reduction in the TA saw each battalion, plus the London Irish Rifles, reduced to company strength and amalgamated as The North Irish Militia which eventually became 4th (Volunteer) Battalion The Royal Irish Rangers (North Irish Militia). Cadre battalions of Inniskillings, Rifles and Faughs continued in being until 1971 when the Rifles' and Faughs' cadres became the nucleus of 5th (Volunteer) Battalion, The Royal Irish Rangers; 5th Inniskillings continued as a separate cadre battalion until final disbandment in 1975.

Both TA battalions of The Royal Irish Rangers were assigned BAOR roles. The 4th and 5th Battalions of The Royal Irish Rangers were merged in 1992 to form the 4/5th Battalion the Royal Irish Rangers (Volunteers) which is based in Portadown. 

In September 2007 our reserve battalion, The Royal Irish Rangers, were renamed to forge our sister battalion 2 R IRISH.

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