Monday 27 March 2017

Cowen still renting out student flat in UK

Michael Brennan Political Correspondent

TAOISEACH Brian Cowen is still renting out the student apartment in Leeds which was the subject of controversy last year.

The company that owned the ground rent of the development was threatening to take Mr Cowen and his fellow investors to court over non-payment of £100,000 (€112,000) in rent and management fees.

But no court action was subsequently taken by the Newcastle-based company, Adderstone Group, although it could not be contacted for comment last night.

According to his register of interests, Mr Cowen continues to rent out two other apartments he owns in Dublin -- one in Golden Lane, Dublin 7 and another in Cammock, Mount Brown, Dublin 8.

He also got a charity bet worth €1,000 from Paddy Power during a visit to its headquarters in Tallaght last November.

According to the bookmaker, he was given odds of 4-1 on Ireland beating France and qualifying for the World Cup.

He would have been given back his €1,000 (because Paddy Power paid out on all such bets following Thierry Henry's handball), but the company agreed to pay the full bet of €5,000.

Mr Cowen said in his register of interests that "all proceeds of this worthy bet" were donated to the Irish Hospice Foundation. TDs are required to provide details of any additional income exceeding €2,600, any travel bills paid by others in excess of €650, and any shares or land exceeding €13,000 in value.

The publication of these details is designed to reassure voters that they do not have any conflicts of interest when carrying out their work.

Spouses

However, TDs are not required to include details of their private homes, or those of their spouses.

Health Minister Mary Harney received four nights' free hotel accommodation in Italy while speaking at a cancer conference. She said she did not know the value of it, and believed it was under €650.

The register of interests for 2009 also shows that Fianna Fail Galway West TD Frank Fahey remains the biggest property owner in the Dail with interests in 18 different properties in Galway, Limerick, Brussels, France, Portugal and other locations.

FF Cork East TD Ned O'Keeffe has shares in 35 different companies, including Aer Lingus. FG Roscommon-South Leitrim TD Frank Feighan has an extensive portfolio of shares, including in Ryanair.

Fine Gael health spokesman Dr James Reilly has a range of property in Lusk in north Dublin, including a surgery for his medical practice, an 86-acre former family farm and 150 acres of farmland and woodland in Moneygall, Co Offaly.

Irish Independent

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