The objectives of the Society have not changed since its foundation in 1805.
Its primary objective is the promotion of agriculture, industry and science. It is apolitical and non-denominational.
From 1892 until 2008 the Society was based in Ballintemple, Cork. Since 2012, the showgrounds are located at Curraheen, Cork and there are plans to develop community, sport, education and recreation facilities on these lands.