Castles on Collars

An officers' left collar badge (flags fly outwards).

The origin of the badge worn on our collars goes back to when the Inniskillener-men were raised in 1689 as regiments of foot to defend the town of Enniskillen in County Fermanagh during the Williamite War. The spelling of the town we know today as Enniskillen originates from its Irish name Inis Ceithleann, (Isle of Kathleen). The Annals of Clonmacnoise stated that the isle took its name from Cethlen, the wife of Balor, Chief of the race of pirates known as the Formorians. Its name was anglicised with its spelling evolving since the English permanently captured Enniskillen Castle in 1607. However, the castle badge's origins are not Enniskillen Castle but the nearby Crom Castle after its beseiging Jacobite Army was defeated at the Battle of Newtownbutler on 31 July 1689.

Glengarry Cap badgeIt was for these actions in defence of Crom Castle that the Regiment later wore a castle badge and the name Inniskilling on their Grenadier Caps. In July 1751, King George II granted the Inniskillings permission to bear a castle with three turrets on its Colours with the word Inniskilling above it. The Inniskillings continued to wear the emblem in various ways, particularly as a cap badge (left). When the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers merged with The Royal Ulster Rifles and The Royal Irish Fusiliers to form The Royal Irish Rangers in 1968, the Rangers wore the Inniskilling badge as the collar dogs of their uniform. And later when the Ulster Defence Regiment merged with the Rangers, the badge continued to be worn on dress collars by their successors, The Royal Irish Regiment.

[Left, an Inniskilling cap badge from the 1870s]