The battle of Colooney was a small battle between the French Expeditionary forces under General Humbert and the Limerick Militia under Colonel Vereker on 5th July 1798.
The Gallant Limerick Militia ;
The attention of Humbert was now directed to the north, in a rapid march for Sligo he reached Colooney with the van of his army on the morning of the 5th. Here its advance was impeded by a small but gallant force, under the command of Colonel Veriker of the Limerick regiment, who, after a bold resistance, was compelled to retreat with the loss of
In the north west of lreland, Humbert had managed, in his masterly way, to throw off his pursuers and keep the initiative. In one bound -fifty-eight miles marched in the span of a night and a day he had reached the outskirts of Sligo. Ahead of him the garrison was almost defenceless. Its commander, Colonel Vereker, had more courage than experience. He pushed forward with his yeomanry and militia to a strategic village called Collooney. And there they stood, a few hundred rustics from Sligo and Limerick, to contest Collooney with the veterans of Bonaparte's Army of ltaly.
On their counter-march they heard of an action which had taken place two days before. Colonel Vrereker, with 300 of the Limerick Militia, wrongly informed as to the strength had boldly engaged them near Colooney and been soundly beaten.
The advanced guard of the French, having arrived at Coloony, was opposed on the 5th by Colonel Vereker, of the city of Limerick militia, who had marched from Sligo for the purpose, with about two hundred infantry, thirty of the Twenty-fourth Regiment of Light Dragoons, and two curricle guns. After a smart action of about an hour's continuance, he was obliged to retreat, with the loss of his artillery, to Sligo.
The next engagement with Humbert in which the militia were concerned as Colooney. The Essex Fencibles and some yeomanry were in it also but the main force was Limerick (city) militia and the officer in command, to whom Ireland awarded laurels, was colonel Vereker. After Castlebar Humbert had headed north-west with Ulster as his general destination and Sligo as his immediate goal. At this town the Limerick city were stationed. Dispositions to meet this move by Humbert do not appear to have been made. Lord Ormonde is reported to have always maintained that ‘ if they had no generals that day Humbert would have been signally defeated at Castlebar, notwithstanding that his troops were hardy and well-tried veterans.... and his opponents raw and untrained militia and fencible levies’. The absence of any general at Colooney realized this conception of a