Cowen faces legal action over apartment in Leeds
Taoiseach Brian Cowen is facing legal proceedings in Britain in a dispute over an investment property which he owns along with other Irish investors in Leeds.
The outgoing Taoiseach, along with his co-investors, is being sued by a Newcastle property company over their participation in a buy-to-let investment scheme that became mired in dispute, according to a report in the British Observer newspaper today.
A spokesman for the Taoiseach told the Sunday Independent that he would never comment on what was a private matter.
The British newspaper breathlessly reports that the dispute was " a final humiliation" for Mr Cowen that "could lead to the seizure of his UK property".
Mr Cowen is said to have had had legal papers served on him at his home in Tullamore, Co Offaly last month.
However, in reality, the dispute centres on a relatively small claim for £16,534 (€19,250), plus costs and interest, by the Adderstone Group, which owns the freehold of Carr Mills, a building in Leeds where Mr Cowen is among a consortium of buy-to-let investors from Ireland.
The claim relates to a lengthy dispute between Adderstone and the Irish investors over management of the building.
While the Irish investors now control the building's upkeep, Adderstone is making a claim for the costs that it incurred while it was managing the building.
It is now up to Mr Cowen and the other Irish investors to either challenge that claim or accept liability.
Mr Cowen bought one of the apartments in the Carr Mills complex in Leeds in 2005. The then Finance Minister declared his purchase of the apartment in Leeds on the Oireachtas Register of Interests.
The register also listed Mr Cowen's interest in an apartment in Golden Lane in Dublin and an apartment at the Cammock building in Mount Brown, Kilmainham.