U2 made a reported €20 million profit from their recent Croke Park gigs as part of their 360 Degree World Tour.

According to The Mirror, the three July gigs in Croke Park, which drew 243,198 fans, were the fourth most profitable series of performances ever at a single location.

Bob Allen, the manager of Billboard's Boxscore charts said: "To take in €92million from only 16 shows is unusual but U2 is one of the handful of acts that can fill a stadium on a nightly basis."

U2 were beaten only by the 1999 Woodstock Festival in New York, the Spice Girls performances at the O2 Arena in London which came second with €23.7 million and the winner Bruce Springsteen with the €27million profit he made at the Giants Stadium in New York in 2003.

U2 guitarist The Edge has defended the size and cost of their 360 world tour against recent criticism.

The three steel structures of their stage cost between €17m and €23m each.

Speaking to BBC 6 Music backstage, The Edge said: "We're spending the money on our fans, I don't think there's a better thing you could spend it on."

Despite it being the most ambitious stage set of any band's world tour, topping the likes of Madonna and The Rolling Stones, Talking Heads frontman David Byrne was not impressed.

While on tour in Europe he wrote on his blog: "$40 million to build the stage and, having done the math, we estimate 200 semi trucks crisscrossing Europe for the duration.

"It could be professional envy speaking here, but it sure looks like, well, overkill, and just a wee bit out of balance given all the starving people in Africa and all."

In response The Edge said: "I think anybody that's touring is going to have a carbon footprint.

"I think it's probably unfair to single out rock 'n' roll. There's many other things that are in the same category but as it happens we have a programme to offset whatever carbon footprint we have."

"We'd love to have some alternative to big trucks bringing the stuff around but there just isn't one."