Tánaiste’s brother named amongst tax defaulters

A brother of Finance Minister Brian Cowen has been hit with a tax bill of nearly €100,000 by the Revenue.

A brother of Finance Minister Brian Cowen has been hit with a tax bill of nearly €100,000 by the Revenue.

Publican Christopher Cowen, from Co Offaly, reached the settlement after he was found to have under-declared his income tax.

Mr Cowen, who is also Deputy Taoiseach, said in a statement that he had no involvement in his brother’s business affairs and excessive publicity would be unfair.

“I accept that my position as a public representative means close attention will be paid to my financial affairs.

“I had and have no involvement whatsoever in my brother’s business so it would not be fair to him were any greater media attentions paid to his revenue difficulties on account of my position in Government.

“I know from him that he gave full cooperation during the Revenue audit and I understand that these matters have now been resolved.”

Mr Cowen, of River Street, Clara, owed €61,395 in unpaid tax and was hit with €34,596 in interest and penalties to make a total bill of €96,351.

Also on the Revenue’s quarterly Defaulter’s List is the Co Tipperary publican who served former US president Ronald Reagan in his pub in Ballyporeen in 1984.

John O’Farrell, who is now retired from the Ronald Reagan Lounge bar, was investigated for an undeclared offshore account.

Mr O’Farrell personally served a pint to Mr Reagan in front of international media in the small village where his ancestors hailed from.

Mr O’Farrell was hit with a bill for €470,000, which included €327,803 in interest and penalties.

The biggest individual tax settlement on the quarterly list from October to December was against Dundalk company director Colm Kehoe who paid €1.5m.

The next biggest was against Dublin property landlord James Souhan for €1.4m for a bogus non-resident account.

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