SBP Ireland Profiled

October 30, 2014  |  By  | 


The Sunday Business Post November 2, 2014 By Matt Cooper A s the money rolls in rom U2’s new album Achtung Baby, one man will be there to count it. Accountant Ossie Kilkenny is the man in whom Bono and the boys place their trust. Paul McGuin - ness is the high-prole manager who guides their career, but Kilkenny is the man who ensures that U2 sign the best deals, and that they get what they’re en- titled to and use it wisely. Kilkenny is one o Ireland’s most suc- cessul businessmen. He is a highly re- spected gure in the international music industry and represents a string o major perormers, Irish, British and American. His client list remains condential, but in addition to U2, Chris de Burgh, Paul Brady and the Pretenders are known to be on it. Kilkenny is best known or his in- volvement with U2. I McGuinness is dubbed the th member o the band, then Kilkenny is the sixth. He and Mc- Guinness work very much in tandem. While Kilkenny is less involved in the day-to-day management decisions, when it comes to earning money-and using it, Kilkenny is involved in all the key decisions. However, while McGuin- ness is a well-known public gure, oten photographed and proled in the media, Kilkenny remains relatively unknown outside the music business. He eschews personal publicity. He does not give interviews, and the only photographs many newspapers have o him date rom his public appearance in 1989 as a promoter with the Windmill Lane consortium applying to the Inde - pendent Radio and elevision Commis- sion or the licence to operate V3. Te appearance added to his reputa- tion as one o Dublin’s most distinctive accountants. Not only does he operate in a dierent industry to most conventional accountancy practices, but the physically imposing Kilkenny also looked apart rom the norm with his long, curly ow- ing hair. You look twice at him these days be - ore you recognise him: then you realise what has happened. Te locks are shorn; he now sports a trendy, short hairstyle. He will not say why, but the word is that the cut was not a preerred choice, but rather the result o a practical joke which backred. Kilkenny is a man known or a tre- mendous sense o humour, one o his main attributes in business dealings. He also exudes a terric energy and enthu- siasm or his work; he works extraordi- narily long hours, sleeping less than six hours every night. “He never stops. Te hours he put in make many o us guilty,” said one riend. Kilkenny’s rm is probably the most successul accountancy practice oper - ating in the music business. Te part- nership has ofces in Dublin (o Baggot Street) and London (on Soho Square). Kilkenny’s name is on the plate, but partners Pat Savage and Brian Murphy play key roles. Kilkenny entered the music business in 1977, when Boomtown Rats manager Fachtna O’Kelly arrived in his Waterloo Road ofce with a contract the band had been asked to sign. Kilkenny worked on the accountancy and the taxation side o the deal, and decided this was the busi - ness in which he wanted to specialise. He was always a music anatic, grow- ing up as a lover o the blues and soul music. As a teenager, his only interests were music and aeroplanes (his par - ents’ Dundrum home was lled with his model aircrat). His only ambition was to play in a band. He became a pilot later, buying a small plane or the price o a good car, but he never had enough time to y it and ended up selling it. On leaving Gormanston College in Meath in 1964, he became a guitarist in Colm Wilkinson’s backing group. Old riends rom his rock ’n’ roll days said Kilkenny was a very good rhythm and Ossie Kilkenny: published November 17, 1991 2 Ireland profiled U2’s money man T wenty-ve years ago this month, a small group o business journalists took a huge gamble. Believing there was a market or a national newspaper ded- icated to business, political and nancial issues, Damien Kiberd, Frank Fitzgibbon, Aileen O’oole and James Morrissey ounded Te Sunday Business Post . Much has changed since then. Tere have been reces- sions, booms and nancial implosions. Te political order o Ireland – both north and south o the border – has been undamentally recast and restructured. Tere have been tribunals, clerical scandals, reerendums and bailouts. y- coons have made billions, and then lost them. Corporations have prospered and subsequently collapsed. Yet the core mission and the core values o Te Sunday Business Post remain the same: a thoroughly independent newspaper dedicated to business, nance and politics. It is this core mission that keeps the newspaper as relevant to- day as it was when it was established. Troughout its 25 years, the paper has pursued the hard stories, and asked the hard questions o decision makers, business leaders and policy makers. It has helped dene, expose and chronicle many o the stories and issues that have dened the last two and a hal decades. Te Sunday Business Post has not been immune rom these changes. In 2013, it was placed into examinership ollowing the insolvency o its parent company. It survived with the backing o new owners Key Capital and Paul Cooke. It was a painul process, but the paper is now on a solid nancial ooting, with a new digital oering about to go live. I anything, this near-death experience has given the paper even more to celebrate this month. For the month o November, we are celebrating the best o Te Sunday Business Post by publishing a series o com - memorative magazines. One o the mainstays o the newspaper has been its pro- le page and its trademark caricature. It has constantly been one o the most popular parts o the paper. So, today, we have drawn rom our archives and assembled a collection o individuals ranging rom titans o business to sporting he- roes. Te selection process was both tortuous and enjoyable - we could have picked easily 100 people to include in this magazine. However, we whittled down the list to just 25. It is ascinating to see what some o the people proled have gone on to achieve in the years that have elapsed since the prole was rst published. We rst proled Michael O’Leary in 1995, well beore he conquered the aviation world, and Louis Walsh some 14 years ago, long beore his days as a star on X Factor. In 2005, or example, I proled the businessman Sean Quinn, where he was described as the outstanding entre - preneur o his generation. Te comment still stands, despite what has happened to Quinn since then – the ignominious ate o bankruptcy and imprisonment. Te proles look at a particular person at a particular moment in time; they are written without the benet o hindsight, and that is what makes them so ascinating. We hope you enjoy the magazine, and we thank you or your continued support o the newspaper. Ian Kehoe Editor The Sunday Business Post Ian Kehoe: looking back at 25 years of tumult and excitement, we present 25 moments in time

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