Cowen to change Dáil declaration to acknowledge ‘landlord’ role over farmland

TDs must list occupation of landlord or lessor if they have rental income of more than €2,600 a year

Fianna Fáil TD Barry Cowen has said he intends to seek a change to his declaration to the Dáil Register of Interests to confirm he is the landlord of some farmland in Co Offaly.

Mr Cowen declared his “residence and lands at Lahinch, Clara, Co Offaly” in his return to the register for 2022.

He has been the owner of 32 acres of farmland since 2003. The Ditch website reported on Thursday that Mr Cowen did not declare his rental income from the farmland. He last listed his ownership of land in his declaration for 2013.

Under the declaration guidelines TDs have to register an occupation of landlord or lessor if they have rental income from a property which exceeds €2,600 gross in the relevant year. They do not have to declare the sums involved.


Mr Cowen told The Irish Times that the landholding in his declarations is his family home and lands.

Asked if he will declare an occupation as a landlord due to rental income from the land, he replied: “I will make that correction, yes.”

A series of TDs and Senators have sought changes to their declarations to the Dáil and Seanad Registers of Interests in the wake of a controversy over former Fianna Fáil Junior Minister Robert Troy failing to fully declare his property interests. Mr Troy resigned as Minister of State for Enterprise and apologised for errors but insisted he had not tried to conceal anything, saying: “My biggest offence is my lack of due diligence.”

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn is a Political Correspondent at The Irish Times