The Irish Independent is Ireland's largest selling daily newspaper. Unusually, it is published in both compact and broadsheet formats.
During the 1913 Lockout of workers, in which Murphy was the main figure among the employers, the Irish Independent vigorously sided with its owner's interests, publishing news reports and opinion pieces hostile to the strikers, expressing confidence in the unions' defeat and launching personal attacks on the leader of the strikers, James Larkin. The Irish Independent described the 1916 Easter Rising as "insane and criminal" and famously called for the shooting of its leaders. In December 1919, during the Irish War of Independence, a group of twenty IRA men destroyed the printing works of the paper, angered at its criticism of the Irish Republican Army and largely pro-British and Unionist stance. In 1924, the traditional nationalist newspaper, the Freeman's Journal, merged with the Irish Independent.
For most of its history, the Irish Independent (also called simply the Independent or, more colloquially, the Indo) was seen as a nationalist, Catholic newspaper, which gave its political allegiance to Cumann na nGaedhael and later its successor party, Fine Gael.
In the 1970s, it was taken over by former Heinz chairman Tony O'Reilly. Under his leadership, it became a more populist, libertarian newspaper—populist on social issues, but economically conservative. By the mid-nineties its allegiance to Fine Gael had ended. In the 1997 general election, it endorsed Fianna Fáil under a front page editorial, entitled 'It's Payback Time'. While it suggested its headline referred to the fact that the election offered a chance to 'pay back' politicians for their failings, its opponents suggested that the 'payback' actually referred to its chance to get revenge for the refusal of the Rainbow Coalition to award the company a mobile phone licence. Tony O'Reilly disputes this claim.
In late 2004, Independent Newspapers moved from their traditional home in Middle Abbey Street to a new office, "Independent House" in Talbot Street, with the printing facilities already relocated to the Citywest business park near Tallaght.
On September 27, 2005, a fortnight after the paper published its centenary edition, it was announced that editor Vinnie Doyle would step down after 24 years in the position. He was replaced by Gerry O'Regan, who had until then been editor of the Irish Independent's sister paper, the Evening Herald.
Its sister paper is the Sunday Independent. Other newspapers in the Independent News & Media group include the Evening Herald, the Daily Star (Irish edition), the Sunday World (all tabloids), many local Irish newspapers and The Independent, a London-based newspaper, as well as newspapers in Australia and South Africa. The Group has a major share in the Sunday Tribune, a Sunday broadsheet. The Independent News & Media Group has been accused of holding an 'unhealthy dominance' of the Irish newspaper market, all the more so since the demise of the Irish Press, Evening Press and Sunday Press newspapers published by the Irish Press Group in 1995. With the closure of the Evening Press, the Independent's Evening Herald is now the only Irish national evening newspaper. Excluding the Sun and the Mirror, most of the content of which are produced in England, the Independent group owns just over 67% of Irish daily newspapers. Excluding the Sunday Times, it controls almost 87% of Irish newspapers sold on Sunday.