Ed Sheeran's Irish tour lit up Limerick last week, but the English pop star taking over Thomond Park was met by ire from Munster Rugby fans.

The superstar put on two sold-out gigs at Thomond Park last Thursday and Friday night, which resulted in Munster being forced to play their European quarter-final against Toulouse at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

Owing to Sheeran's stage set-up, the pitch would not have been ready in time for the match on Saturday, forcing Munster to play the game in Dublin.

The move was met with severe backlash from Munster fans, despite Ed Sheeran himself apologising to Munster fans for the inconvenience caused.

As a result of the controversy, Thomond Stadium will no longer book the stadium for concerts during the rugby season - but will still hold concerts during the off-season.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner, Munster Rugby’s Chief Operating Officer Philip Quinn said the decision to stage the Sheeran concerts was made during at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic when stadiums were shut and staff redundancies were being made as a result of the cutbacks.

“It’s a good question, does it vindicate it looking back? Yes, we had to make the decision at the time but personally no, it doesn’t vindicate it," Quinn told the Examiner.

Quinn added, "Our purpose is rugby."

“Looking back at the time, did we make the right decision? Completely, but is it a decision we want to make? No."

Quinn was adamant that rugby was to take precedence at Thomond Park going forward as a result of the controversy.

“Thomond Park is there for rugby, simple as that. Rugby always comes first. Yes, it was the survival of the club at the time but if we’re making those decisions in future, no, it’s rugby," he said.

Thomond Park is one of the biggest concert venues outside of Dublin, with the stadium capable of holding over 25,000 people.

The shows were greeted with a positive reception in Limerick, with locals noting that stars of Ed Sheeran's status rarely perform in the city.

Mayor of Limerick City Daniel Butler said that Limerick was proving itself to be "the ultimate venue for large gigs."

Ed Sheeran was the first major concert at Thomond Park since Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band rolled into Shannonside in 2013, with other stars such as Pink, Rod Stewart, and Elton John also giving concerts at the stadium since it was redeveloped in 2008.

The 'Shape Of You' star also performed in Dublin and Cork as part of his recent Irish tour.

During his Croke Park concert, the concert could be heard as far away as Kilmainham, while An Taoiseach Micheál Martin took in a concert when the singer performed at Cork's Páirc Uí Chaoimh.