THE politician brother of ex-Taoiseach Brian Cowen is being sued for an outstanding debt of over €8,600.
In a highly embarrassing development, it's emerged that Laois-Offaly TD Barry Cowen has failed to pay a debt relating to the purchase of equipment for his former auctioneering business.
The Fianna Fail TD will be pursued personally for the money, which is owed to the Dublin-based printing company MJ Flood Ireland Ltd.
Details of the court judgment against Mr Cowen were published in this month's edition of 'Experian Gazette'.
In a statement last night, Mr Cowen said he accepts the court judgment made against him.
"This relates to a business matter I was involved in from before I was elected as a TD," he said.
It's understood that the debt arises from the purchase of printing equipment that was installed in the Tullamore office of Mr Cowen's former auctioneering business.
The business was formally closed last year.
Mr Cowen took up a job with the Irish Greyhound Board in 2010 and was previously with Offaly County Council.
He closed the auctioneering firm – which he ran with his wife Mary – following the slowdown in the market.
Mr Cowen successfully defended his brother's seat in the 2011 General Election.
Because Mr Cowen operated as a sole trader, he is personally liable for the debt.
A source close to Mr Cowen, who is Fianna Fail's Environment spokesperson, last night said his business "suffered badly" during the property crash.
"This isn't on the same scale as judgments made against the likes of Mick Wallace," the source said.
"Barry is embarrassed about all this and he will endeavour to deal with it appropriately."
The Irish Independent contacted MJ Flood Limited for comment but received no response.