McAllister, Randal (c.1760?–p. 1794?), printer and United Irishman, was made a freeman of the city of Dublin in October 1786 and was then a stationer; nothing else is known of his background. The following year, on 23 October 1787, he was indicted for forging a receipt in the name of T. Byrne, printer of the Dublin Journal, but was acquitted two days later. From July 1789 he was in partnership with the printer Arthur Grueber; the pair produced a pamphlet, Observations on frauds committed by the bakers (1789), and went into dealing lottery tickets. The partnership broke up in July 1790; McAllister then moved into premises in 59 Dame St., and produced a pamphlet entitled Whig club attacked and defended (August 1790). As a member of ‘Whigs of the capital’, an association of radical guild politicians led by James Napper Tandy (qv), McAllister was instrumental in a decision (April 1791) to raise subscriptions for a fund to underwrite a subsidised printing of Thomas Paine's Rights of man. Within two weeks the first supplies of the sixpenny edition were available from McAllister's new premises at 102 Grafton St. The eventual run of the cheap edition was reported as 20,000. On 27 December 1791 a ballot was held for his membership of the United Irishman, and six months later (1 June 1792) he put forward a proposal, which was carried, that Thomas Paine be made an honorary member of the society.
On 14 December 1792 he printed the society's address to the Volunteers, published by William Paulet Carey (qv). The following month Carey was threatened with prosecution for publishing this address and so sold his paper, the organ of the Dublin United Irishmen, entitled Rights of Irishmen; or National Evening Star, to McAllister, who published it from 23 February to 23 March 1793. His definition, in the 16 March edition, of the Irish house of commons as a market, where honour and virtue were sold to the highest bidder, led to his being ordered into custody on 20 April and committed for a short period to Newgate. This effectively ended all his seditious activities. In June 1793 he filed for bankruptcy, though William Drennan (qv) later claimed he perjured himself and lied to his creditors. He subsequently appealed to Drennan (2 February 1794) for aid to secure his passage to America, claiming that he had been on the run for five months and was under pressure to turn informer for the government; there may have been an element of blackmail in this appeal. His wife (or, according to Drennan, his mistress) approached government agents in summer 1793, saying her husband would reveal the authors of the address to the Volunteers in return for a pardon, but this he did not do and she may have been acting independently. Drennan, believing McAllister to be without incriminating evidence, was unconcerned by the threat and refused to lend assistance as he felt it would be an admission of guilt on his part. However, the Society seems eventually to have agreed to raise £20 for McAllister's passage sometime around the end of July 1794. Nothing is known of him after this date; it is possible that he emigrated to America.