The Institute was founded in 1991 as the Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works in Ireland (ICHAWI). In 2013, ICHAWI and the Irish Professional Conservators' and Restorers' Association (IPCRA) joined forces. ICRI was officially launched as one united body to represent conservation professionals across the island of Ireland.
ICRI has charitable status in Ireland (CHY 10652) and is registered as a Limited Company (No. 178248). ICRI is a full member of the European Confederation of Conservator-Restorers Organisations (ECCO) since April 2004.