Brian Cowen’s UK investment Property

Here is an interesting article from The Times … t=0&page=1

Be interesting to find out who the rest of the group are.

Interesting snippet that, so as well as the depreciating asset, the taxpayer bears the currency risk (Sterling vs Euro) as well since the asset is bought and sold in Stg then converted to Euros. What is our exposure to the UK property market? … 00002.html

The article throws a lot of muck in the hope that some of it will stick.

most of it won’t
because there isn’t a speck of clean surface for it to stick to

If they were buying an entire block of apartments, there is absolutely no reason why they shouldn’t buy the freehold interest as well. What’s more, having restrictive covenants that prevent sub-leasing on an investment property are crazy.

Did they even have a solicitor advising them about this deal? Or were they so blinded by greed in trying to get into the English property market that they simply ignored the niceties of having good title.

Quite often the developer keeps the freehold and adds it to their own portfolio as a future income stream,or until the development is completely sold and then the freeholds are quite often sold onto specialist buyers who are set up to collect service charges,ground rents,maintainece etc…all very time consuming for the non specialist.

Cowen was merely part of a syndicate that bought a job lot of flats , why does the article not name the principals who organised this syndicate ???

The principals are the ones who had a duty to check out details like 'do we have permission to let these to the University of Leeds ? ’ on behalf of the syndicate members .

Furthermore the principals are the ones who accepted money from Class A drug dealing farmers , not Brian Cowen .

University of Leeds web site on Carr Mills (here)

60 Merrion Square seems to have a busy location with a number of businesses associated with the address including property management, financial advisers, baby care, illustrators, design, media.

According to Iris Oifigiúil for 18th April 2008(/here), one Burke, Paddy also holds an interest in the development.

There certainly is a lot of muck thrown in the article and it is not entirely clear whether the convicted cattle farmer who is an investor in the development is also a member of the Taoiseachs’ syndicate.

There is no “smoking gun” in the article, apart from the suggestion that An Taoiseach is, like most of his contemporaries in Ireland, a somewhat inept landlord and highlight that he was just as gullible as many other citizens of the State in speculating on property either here or abroad.

Blue Horseshoe

Yes, but they bought an entire block, so there is no reason why they shouldn’t have insisted on the freehold for the land on which the block was built and then subdivided it themselves.

Are TD’s declared interests available on line?

Yes, Cowen did declare it in the 2008 list.

From the IT

Cowen among investors in dispute
MARK HENNESSY,Political Correspondent

TALKS TO end a legal dispute about a €12m property deal involving Taoiseach Brian Cowen and nearly 70 other Irish investors are close to a settlement.

The investors, including Mr Cowen, bought individual flats in a Leeds apartment block off the plans in 2005 in a deal orchestrated by property developer, Enda Hunston, funded by mortgages taken out on AIB’s Ballsbridge branch.

Mr Cowen, who was then minister for finance, has properly registered the existence of his investment in the Dáil’s Register of Members’ Interests ever since. His spokesman declined to comment on the matter last night … 20720.html

I we never heard of a 7 bedroom apartment it must be a converted football field

I wonder will this debt end up in nama?

will the members of this syndicate and many others like it be pursued vigourously as we are informed they would be.

by merely enforcing the bankruptcy laws and pursuing people for money owed on property I’d say we could clear out whole chunks of the Dail and particularly those in FF with a VI.

I noticed how TV3 news had this as their lead item yesterday yet I don’t think RTÉ covered it at all

Morning Ireland covered it this morning (Wed) one of the last articles on the show coming up to 9am.

Can’t see why someone with a pension of up 100k+ is trying to top it up a few grand via the hassle of being a landlord, or even the hope of making a few 10s of grand via hoped for price rises. Doesn’t he know how rich his pension makes him?

Also hope he’s not been complaining about cross border shoppers.

These are Brian Cowen’s declared interests.

[code]COWEN, Brian (Laoighis-Offaly)

  1. Occupational Income ……… Silent partner in firm of solicitors, non-practicing: O’Donovan and Cowen, William St., Tullamore, Co. Offaly.

  2. Shares ……………………… Nil

  3. Directorships……………… Nil

  4. Land ……………………… (1) Carr Mills, Leeds, England: letting; (2) Apartment, Golden Lane, Dublin 7: letting; (3) 27 Cammock, Mount Brown, D8: letting.

  5. Gifts ……………………… Nil

  6. Property and Service ……… Nil

  7. Travel Facilities …………… Nil

  8. Remunerated Position ……. Nil

  9. Contracts …………………. Nil


Though when I see Jackie Healy-Rae declare nothing, I’d question the completeness of this.