The madness of upward only rents is killing and stifling business in Galway, a fact brought home by the closure of one of the city’s most popular restaurants.
Fianna Fáil city councillor Ollie Crowe is demanding action from the Government and its TDs in the city and county, to deal with the situation where rent reviews are only considered if the rents are increased.
Cllr Crowe was speaking following the announcement that the award winning Spanish restaurant Cava, which is among the most popular and successful restaurants in the city, is being forced to close due to a dispute over its lease.
“The impending closure of Cava is very sad news not just for its staff and customers, but also for vibrancy of Galway city centre,” he said. “Unfortunately this story is all too familiar with so many shops, restaurants, and pubs at risk of closure due to crippling rents and unacceptably high business costs.”
Cllr Crowe said the “complete failure” to tackle “unacceptably high business costs in urban areas” is placing many otherwise viable businesses at risk, which in turn will harm the local economy and the city centre’s ability to attract both custom and tourism.
“The very existence of the main street in cities and towns across Ireland is at risk and the Government is completely burying its head in the sand,” he said. “Tackling upward only rent contracts was a cornerstone of the Fine Gael election manifesto in 2011 but was quickly forgotten once the party got into power.”