Owner of the Korky’s chain of shoe shops, John Corcoran has unveiled the latest in a series of banners above his shop on Grafton Street in central Dublin. John has campaigned for several years to have Upward Only Rent Review clauses in pre-February 2010 commercial leases abolished; he himself is understood to be in an ongoing court battle with his own landlord Canada Life over the rent on his Grafton Street store. The previous banner – unfurled in August 2011 and pictured here – accused the coalition government of being liars after the sudden abandonment of reforms to UORR leases promised in both Labour and Fine Gael’s election manifestos for the 2011 general election.
The latest banner reads “No to Upward Only Rent, No to Political Liars, No to the Fiscal Compact”. John’s objection to the fiscal compact appears to be based on the view that further austerity will turn the retail landscape of Ireland into a “wasteland”. There’s even a video to announce the launch here, with a raucous music accompaniment.
This will be the last Korky’s banner. John explains in the video that Dublin City Council had taken him to court over previous banners and last week, he gave a pledge to the judge that this latest banner would come down on 31st May 2012 after the referendum for the Fiscal Compact.
Both Sinn Fein and Fianna Fail have tabled bills to abolish UORR clauses but both seem destined to gather dust given the emphatic decision by the Government on 6th December 2011 which claimed that changing UORR clauses in pre-February 2010 leases would not be possible for constitutional and cost reasons.
John has apparently set up his own organisation Irish Commercial Tenants Association Limited which was registered with the Company Registrations Office three weeks ago and has his own blog here.