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U2 not splitting up: McGuinness ends speculation on band's future

By Ken Sweeney

Published 09/11/2011

Bono, left, and The Edge
Bono, left, and The Edge
Bono
U2 frontman Bono
GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: Bono of U2 performs at the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm, Pilton on June 24, 2011 in Glastonbury, England. The festival, which started in 1970 when several hundred hippies paid 1 GBP to watch Marc Bolan, has grown into Europe's largest music festival attracting more than 175,000 people over five days. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)
Bono of U2 performs onstage on the first night of their 360 tour held at Camp Nou on June 30, 2009 in Barcelona, Spain.
Bono of U2 performs onstage on the first night of their 360 tour held at Camp Nou on June 30, 2009 in Barcelona, Spain.
Adam Clayton, Bono, The Edge and Larry Mullen of U2 perform onstage on the first night of their 360 tour held at Camp Nou on June 30, 2009 in Barcelona, Spain.
The Edge of U2 performs onstage on the first night of their 360 tour held at Camp Nou on June 30, 2009 in Barcelona, Spain.
Fans go mad as U2 perform onstage on the first night of their 360 tour held at Camp Nou on June 30, 2009 in Barcelona, Spain.
L-R The Edge, Larry Mullen, Bono and Adam Clayton of U2 perform onstage on the first night of their 360 tour held at Camp Nou on June 30, 2009 in Barcelona, Spain.
Bono of U2 performs onstage on the first night of their 360 tour held at Camp Nou on June 30, 2009 in Barcelona, Spain
Bono of U2 onstage on the first night of their 360 tour held at Camp Nou
Bono of U2 performs onstage on the first night of their 360 tour held at Camp Nou on June 30, 2009 in Barcelona, Spain.
Fans go mad as U2 perform onstage on the first night of their 360 tour held at Camp Nou on June 30, 2009 in Barcelona, Spain
Fans go mad as U2 perform onstage on the first night of their 360 tour held at Camp Nou on June 30, 2009 in Barcelona, Spain
Bono of U2 performs onstage on the first night of their 360 tour held at Camp Nou on June 30, 2009 in Barcelona, Spain.
Adam Clayton of U2 performs onstage on the first night of their 360 tour held at Camp Nou on June 30, 2009 in Barcelona, Spain.
Fans of U2 prepare for the first night of their 360 tour held at Camp Nou on June 30, 2009 in Barcelona, Spain.
Larry Mullen of U2 performs onstage on the first night of their 360 tour held at Camp Nou on June 30, 2009 in Barcelona, Spain
Larry Mullen of U2 performs onstage on the first night of their 360 tour held at Camp Nou on June 30, 2009 in Barcelona, Spain
Adam Clayton, Bono, The Edge and Larry Mullen of U2 perform onstage on the first night of their 360 tour held at Camp Nou on June 30, 2009 in Barcelona, Spain.
Adam Clayton, Bono, The Edge and Larry Mullen of U2 perform onstage on the first night of their 360 tour held at Camp Nou on June 30, 2009 in Barcelona, Spain
Fans of U2 watch them perform onstage on the first night of their 360 tour held at Camp Nou on June 30, 2009 in Ba2rcelona, Spain
Claw -- the circular stage in Camp Nou, Barcelona
The Nou Camp, in Barcelona, gets the U2 treatment in preparation for the launch of the band's 360 world tour
U2 frontman Bono
The Nou Camp, in Barcelona, gets the U2 treatment in preparation for the launch of the band's 360 world tour
Even though Bono had not heard of Spotify U2's latest album, No Line on the Horizon, made its debut on the new music service
The Nou Camp, in Barcelona, gets the U2 treatment in preparation for the launch of the band's 360 world tour
The Nou Camp, in Barcelona, gets the U2 treatment in preparation for the launch of the band's 360 world tour
Bono and U2 perform at the Brit Awards 2009 at Earls Court exhibition centre in London, England, Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009. (AP Photo/MJ Kim)
The Nou Camp, in Barcelona, gets the U2 treatment in preparation for the launch of the band's 360 world tour
Bono, left, and Adam Clayton from Irish band U2 perform at the Brit Awards 2009 at Earls Court exhibition centre in London, England, Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009. (AP Photo/MJ Kim)
The Nou Camp, in Barcelona, gets the U2 treatment in preparation for the launch of the band's 360 world tour
U2 drummer Larry Mullen
The Nou Camp, in Barcelona, gets the U2 treatment in preparation for the launch of the band's 360 world tour
From left, The Edge, BB King and Bono are seen on stage at "The Blues & Jazz" Gala Concert at the Kodak Theatre on Sunday Oct. 26, 2008 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark Mainz)
The Nou Camp, in Barcelona, gets the U2 treatment in preparation for the launch of the band's 360 world tour
The Nou Camp, in Barcelona, gets the U2 treatment in preparation for the launch of the band's 360 world tour
The Nou Camp, in Barcelona, gets the U2 treatment in preparation for the launch of the band's 360 world tour
The Nou Camp, in Barcelona, gets the U2 treatment in preparation for the launch of the band's 360 world tour
The Nou Camp, in Barcelona, gets the U2 treatment in preparation for the launch of the band's 360 world tour
The Nou Camp, in Barcelona, gets the U2 treatment in preparation for the launch of the band's 360 world tour
The Nou Camp, in Barcelona, gets the U2 treatment in preparation for the launch of the band's 360 world tour
GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: Bono of U2 performs at the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm, Pilton on June 24, 2011 in Glastonbury, England. The festival, which started in 1970 when several hundred hippies paid 1 GBP to watch Marc Bolan, has grown into Europe's largest music festival attracting more than 175,000 people over five days. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
Lead singer Bono in Croke Park, Dublin on the first night of U2's '360' world tour.
Spectators with umbrellas wait for the beginning of a concert of the band U2 at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin
Bono of U2 performs onstage on the first night of their 360 tour held at Camp Nou in Barcelona
U2 open their world tour in Barcelona
Steve and Marla Lawrenz at a U2 concert in Hawaii, 2006
U2 concert at Paris Stade de France. 12/07/2009. Submitted by Nicolas Boulay, France
Bono and the Edge, during the first night of their 360 degree tour in Barcelona
Claw blimey! Work continues on the revolutionary stage for the first of U2’s three gigs in Dublin's Croke Park
Brazilian U2 fans: Camila Ferreira, Carol Haddan, Josianne Moser and Gabriela Moresco before the U2 360 concert in Croke Park, Dublin.
Adam Clayton (left) and The Edge from U2 playing at Croke Park in Dublin
U2 play at Croke Park in Dublin
Fan Lisa McCrink from Newry
Adam Clayton of U2 performs live at Croke Park, Dublin on the 1st night of their "360 degree" world tour.
Bono looks out at the fans in Croke Park, Dublin on the 1st night of U2's "360 degree" world tour.
The Edge performs live in Croke Park, Dublin on the 1st night of U2's "360 degree" world tour.
Drummer Larry Mullen gives a smile to the camera as U2 perform live in Croke Park, Dublin on the 1st night of their "360 degree" world tour.
Bono gets the crowd going in Croke Park, Dublin
A sold out crowd packs into Croke Park, Dublin to watch U2 perform the first of three concerts.
Northern Irish fans Catherine & Hugh O'Mullan from Ballymena who travelled down to see Irish super group U2 perform live at Croke Park, Dublin for the 1st night of their "360 degree" world tour.
Omagh man James Higgins with his dutch girlfriend Mirjam Verdonk who travelled down to see Irish super group U2 perform live at Croke Park, Dublin for the 1st night of their "360 degree" world tour.
Omagh girls Siobhan O'Neill, Laura Rodgers and Eimear McCollum, who travelled down to see Irish super group U2 perform live at Croke Park, Dublin for the 1st night of their "360 degree" world tour.
Kilrea man Dermot Hegarty with girlfriend Asling McGill from Londonderry, who travelled down to see Irish super group U2 perform live at Croke Park, Dublin for the 1st night of their "360 degree" world tour.

It's official - U2 are not splitting up. The band's manager, Paul McGuinness, last night flatly denied reports that the four school friends are going their separate ways after 35 years.

Known as the fifth member of U2, Mr McGuinness (60) has steered their career from local outfit to global superstars. Asked about the constant speculation that U2 have hit the end of the road, he said: "No, and I think I would have heard. Not all all. They are always working on the next record."

Fears of a U2 split began with an interview Bono gave to 'Rolling Stone' magazine last month in which he hinted that himself, Larry Mullen Jnr, the Edge and Adam Clayton may part company sometime in 2012.

"I'm not so sure the future hasn't dried up," said the 51-year-old frontman.

"It's quite likely you might hear from us next year but it's equally possible that you won't. The band may have finally run its course."

However, at the opening of a new stage version of Edna O'Brien's novel 'The Country Girls', Mr McGuinness said: "I'm not sure what was said, but I think it was a chance remark taken out of context. I would disregard it."

First published in 1960, Ms O'Brien's novel shocked the Republic of Ireland on its release and was promptly banned due to the frank approach its young female characters had towards sex. Her books were burned with the blessing of her own mother.

But half a century later, the writer, now 80, was being celebrated by a who's who of Irish theatre and literature who turned up at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin, including Nobel Prize winner Seamus Heaney.

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