U2'S Bono has branded people "churlish" for criticising the part of the band's business move to the Netherlands to avail of lower tax rates.
The band's frontman, an anti-poverty campaigner, insisted being good businessmen doesn't make the band bad people.
U2 have a net worth of €800m. The band is a business just like Google and Facebook, he told Gay Byrne on RTE's The Meaning Of Life when he discussed U2's long running "tax exile" accusations for the first time. Bono (53) said: "The shock horror moment here is U2 behaving like a business.
"We live in a small rock in the North Atlantic and we would be underwater were it not for clever people working in Government and in the Revenue who made tax competitiveness a central part of Irish ec onomic life.
"It's the reason why we have companies like Google or Facebook and indeed I helped bring those companies to Ireland.
"So it is more than churlish for Irish people to say, 'We don't want an Irish company involved in that stuff that we do want everyone else (involved in).'
"We do pay a lot of tax but are tax sensible, as every business is, I am involved in these things some people think are idealistic but I think are pragmatic – why can't U2 be tough in business?"