Published Monday, 21 May 2012
Martin McGuinness and Peter Robinson with outgoing Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin (© Pacemaker)
The event was hosted by First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness on Monday evening.
In a joint statement, Northern Ireland's leaders said that they hoped that this was just the beginning of another golden era in Ulster rugby.
"Reaching the final of Europe's premier club rugby competition is a major achievement and we wish to congratulate the team, coaches and everyone involved with Ulster Rugby on their efforts over the past year," the statement read.
"Having come through a difficult qualifying pool the team showed great spirit in their quarter-final and semi-final victories over Munster and Edinburgh respectively, though in Leinster they came up against, arguably the greatest team in Heineken Cup history."
The statement continued: "Over the last decade we have admired the heroes of 1999 but the team of 2012 have carved out its own place in history and we can be rightly proud of what it have achieved."