John Francis Maguire founded the Cork Examiner in 1841. The first issue of the newspaper appeared on 30 August 1841. Maguire was a barrister and an MP who supported an independent parliament for Ireland. From its inception, The Cork Examiner was an advocate of constitutional nationalism. The newspaper was originally an evening paper which appeared three times weekly.
In 1842, a 15 year old boy from Kerry, named Thomas Crosbie, began to work for the paper. He later became its editor and, on Maguire's death in 1872, became proprietor as well. The newspaper has remained in the hands of the Crosbie family ever since. Under Thomas Crosbie's stewardship, the newspaper became a morning paper which appeared six times weekly. He was also responsible for launching the Evening Echo in 1892 and The Cork Weekly Examiner in 1896.
The newspaper's printing presses printed the First National Loan for the Sinn Féin Finance Minister, Michael Collins in 1919, leading to the British authorities briefly shutting down the paper. Ironically, the I.R.A.damaged the newspaper's printing presses in 1920, which were again destroyed by the anti-Treaty I.R.A. in 1922.
In an attempt to broaden the paper's readership throughout Ireland, the name of the paper was changed to The Examiner in 1996 and to The Irish Examiner in 2000.
In 2004 the offices of Thomas Crosbie Holdings were transferred from Academy Street to City Quarter off Lapp's Quay.