One Direction are at the centre of controversy after teachers at an Irish catholic school was asked to move the date of a major event to allow pupils to attend the boyband's concert.

Around 30 eight-year-old pupils at Raheen Gaelscoil school in Limerick, Ireland, are due to receive their First Communion in May (14), but a number of them have tickets to see the pop stars in concert at the same time and several parents have requested a change of date for the ceremony.

The Irish Independent newspaper reports there were "heated exchanges" during a meeting on Tuesday (Oct), with three parents insisting the date should be moved so their children can attend the sold-out concert in Dublin.

The paper reports other parents at the meeting were infuriated by what one parent described as "disrespect shown to the blessed sacrament".

School bosses said in a statement that they have balloted parents and the majority were not in favour of changing the date, writing, "The result of that ballot has been overwhelmingly in favour of retaining the original date."