The Crosbies of Examiner newspapers of Cork trace their roots to a young Thomas Crosbie who arrived from North Kerry in 1842. He later came to own Examiner newspapers, thus establishing the Cork family newspaper dynasty which flourished through 175 years and five generations until its recent takeover by The Irish Times. The Kerry Crosbies extend to the early 1600s with the original family roots tracing to the MacCrossans, ancient bards to the O’Moores of Laois and O’Connors of Offaly. In the late 1500s two MacCrossan brothers changed their name to Crosbie. Both achieved prominence with Patrick Crosbie becoming a large estate owner in Kerry and Laois while his younger brother John became Protestant Bishop of Ardfert (Kerry). Having established themselves as part of the new ascendancy in Kerry, the Crosbies, along with achieving an Earldom, proceeded to play prominent roles in parliament in both Dublin and Westminster through the centuries. While sometimes controversial landlords, later generations supported Home Rule, with one Kerry Crosbie becoming a candidate for the Irish Parliamentary Party in the 1918 general election. Their two mansions in Kerry, Ardfert Abbey and Ballyheigue Castle, were burned down during the War of Independence and the Civil War. Other family members included Sir Edward Crosbie of Carlow who was dramatically executed during the 1798 rising and his younger brother Richard of Wicklow who became Ireland’s first aeronaut. Overall, the story of the Crosbies provides an intriguing insight into the complex llegiances of a prominent Irish family through the centuries to the present time.
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Date of Publication: 19/08/2021