Cowen leads tributes to Leinster


Taoiseach Brian Cowen led tributes to the Leinster rugby team following their victory over Leicester at Murrayfield today.

Mr Cowen, who was at the match in Edinburgh, said he was "absolutely delighted" for the team and that it was a "real pleasure" to be in Edinburgh for a a "hugely exciting match".

"This season has been a golden year for Irish rugby and today’s victory is another special sporting moment. Everyone in the country will take great pride in the fact that a side from our shores are now the European champions once again."

"This honour is well deserved as the team have displayed courage, commitment, a real will to win and, of course, fantastic rugby skills all season. They dug deep today and deservedly came out on top against a fine

Leicester team."

Green Party leader John Gormley said this year had been a fantastic one for Irish rugby.

"Leinster captain Leo Cullen, Brian O'Driscoll and all of the Leinster team deserve the country's fullest praise and admiration. Ireland's rugby players have lifted themselves from what was a bit of a slump in the 2007 World Cup season, to the very heights of the international game. I wish the players that are part of the Lions squad every encouragement as they set off for South Africa."