Monday 23 September 2019

Chair of Datalex would like to have done 'far better job' as he steps down

Datalex is a travel software company (Stock image)
Datalex is a travel software company (Stock image)
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Datalex chairman Paschal Taggart has lamented that he would have like to have done a “far better job” at the troubled software company, as he confirmed this afternoon that he will be stepping down from the role at the firm’s annual general meeting later this year.

Mr Taggart apologised on behalf of the travel software company to staff, including those recently made redundant, as well as shareholders who’ve been left nursing paper losses after Datalex’s shares collapsed on the back of accounting irregularities.

“I’d like to be going in different circumstances,” he told shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting to approve a €6.1m loan to the group from billionaire financier Dermot Desmond.

“I would like to have done a far better job,” he added.

Among the shareholders at today’s meeting was former Grafton Group executive chairman Michael Chadwick.

Mr Taggart (76), has been at Datalex for 15 years.

“Somebody’s got to fall on their sword in these situations… I have no problem with that,” he said after the meeting, but added that he’d been planning his departure for some time.

“I was always going. I think it’s a good time to go,” he said.

A recent review by PwC found that there had been “significant accounting irregularities” at Datalex, which has said its first half results for 2018 may have been misstated.

“I would like to apologise unreservedly to all shareholders, to the staff recently made redundant and their families,” said Mr Taggart.

Datalex is temporarily suspending trading in its shares from May 1 because it won’t be able to meet a regulatory deadline to publish its 2018 accounts by April 30.

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