Paul McGuinness (born 17 June 1951) is the main shareholder and founder of Principle Management Limited: an artist management company based in Dublin, Ireland, which has managed U2 from the start of their successful career. He is the manager of U2, PJ Harvey and The Rapture. He previously managed Paddy Casey.
McGuinness was born in Rinteln near Hanover, Germany, in a British Army hospital. His father, Philip McGuinness, a Liverpudlian, was serving there with the RAF. His mother Sheila McGuinness née Lyne, was a schoolteacher from Lauragh, County Kerry, Ireland. There were three children in the family: Paul, Niall and Katy. McGuinness was sent to boarding school in Ireland in 1961, Clongowes Wood College, run by the Jesuits. He then went on to Trinity College in Dublin where he directed plays and edited the magazine T.C.D. Miscellany, but left without completing his degree.
Before becoming involved with U2, he worked as a film technician on productions such as John Boorman's Zardoz. For a time, he also managed folk-rock group Spud.
He was nicknamed by The Prunes as "The Goose", according to Bono in the book U2 by U2. Bono said: "The Prunes came up with a name for Paul. He was The Goose."
McGuinness married Kathy Gilfillan in 1977. They met whilst he was studying in Trinity. Kathy Gilfillan is director of The Lilliput Press Limited McGuinness's brother, Niall died of a heart attack in 1993 but his sister, Katy is a writer and lives with her family in Monkstown, Co. Dublin.
McGuinness first met U2 at a Dublin gig on 25 May 1978 where they were supporting the Gamblers and became their manager, having been introduced to the band by Bill Graham a journalist with Hot Press magazine.
He founded Principle Management Limited on 29 Mar 1984, the name being chosen because he wanted to be more principled than other managers.
In 1985, McGuinness commissioned Eamon Dunphy to write the story of U2's early years. The book Unforgettable Fire - The Story of U2 was published in 1987.
McGuinness and Bill Whelan set up a music publishing company called McGuinness/Whelan Publishing in the late 1980s.
As a result of the cap on artists' tax exemption in Ireland, in June 2006 McGuinness advised U2 to move it's song publishing assets to Promogroup in The Netherlands, to minimise their tax burden.
Noted for his business acumen, he has been responsible for U2 3D concert films, U2-branded iPods, sponsorship from BlackBerry and the first ever concert streamed live on YouTube.
He is regarded as the fifth member of U2 and one of the most successful managers in the music industry.
He was a founding partner of TV3 (Ireland) and is a director of Ardmore Studios. He is a member of the Phantom FM consortium that in November 2004 secured a broadcasting licence for alternative rock music radio station in the Dublin area and co-founder of the Celtic Heartbeat label, part of Universal Records.
He became a member of the Arts Council of Ireland on 1 January 1988, having been nominated by Charles Haughey and served until February 2000 when he resigned.
He is a prominent and outspoken advocate on behalf of artists, record labels and music publishers. On January 28, 2008, in a speech at the Midem music industry convention in Cannes, McGuinness called on governments to compel ISPs to introduce mandatory "three strike" service disconnections to end unauthorized downloading, and specifically accused companies such as Apple, Google, Yahoo!, Oracle, and Facebook of building "multi billion dollar industries on the back of our content without paying for it".