Ed Sheeran kicked off his nine-date Ireland tour at Pairc Uí Chaoimh in Cork last night, the first of three gigs at the venue this weekend. By all reports, the sold-out gig was a mega-success.

The sun was just beginning to set on a day of glorious Irish weather, when the 27-year-old singer-songwriter walked out on stage, opening the set with his hit single ‘Castle on the Hill.’

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Wow. @PaircUiCha0imh looks UNREAL @edsheeran #edcork #EdSheeranCork pic.twitter.com/HAFXHJb0GZ

— Simon Murdoch 📻📱 (@Simon_Murdoch) May 5, 2018

“It’s Friday night – it’s the first date of the Irish tour . . . I’m so happy to be in Cork,” he told over 40,000 screaming fans.

And we’re off! #EdIrishTour #PaircUiChaoimh #EdCork pic.twitter.com/d4YaMa9yNE

— Ed Sheeran Ireland (@EdSheeranEire) May 4, 2018

His set included such hits as ‘Happier,’ ‘Galway Girl,’ and ‘Perfect.’

Ed wears red!! 👌

#EdCork #EdIrishTour #CorkGAA #EdWearsRed@OfficialCorkGAA pic.twitter.com/bbrVygl9vG

— Páirc Uí Chaoimh (@PaircUiCha0imh) May 5, 2018

Sheeran, who wore a checked shirt for the first part of the concert, reappeared on stage for an encore wearing a Cork GAA jersey, which drove the crowd wild. For the encore, he played ‘Shape of You’ and ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You.’

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He told his adoring fans “the best crowds are in Ireland . . . that’s a fact.”

What a fantastic first concert in the new stadium!
We look forward to doing it all again tomorrow! #EdCork #EdIrishTour pic.twitter.com/rcTlBoUxyK

— Páirc Uí Chaoimh (@PaircUiCha0imh) May 4, 2018

Sheeran will play at the Cork venue again tonight and on Sunday. He will then head to Belfast to play Boucher Playing Fields on May 9 before returning to the Republic to  play Pearse Stadium in Galway on May 12 and 13 and Phoenix Park in Dublin on May 16, 18, and 19.

H/T Irish Times, Joe.ie, RTÉ