Sunday 25 August 2019

'Somebody's got to fall on their sword', says outgoing Datalex chairman

Chairman Paschal Taggart
Chairman Paschal Taggart
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

DATALEX chairman Paschal Taggart said he would like to have done a "far better job" at the troubled software company, as he confirmed yesterday that he will be stepping down as a director at the firm's annual general meeting later this year.

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

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"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, who owns almost 30pc of the firm.

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

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

Mr Taggart (76), has been a director at Datalex for 17 years and chairman for nine. He owns almost 3pc of the group.

"Somebody's got to fall on their sword in these situations… I have no problem with that," he said after the meeting. He said he had 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.

The company's chief executive, Aidan Brogan, did not speak at the meeting.

Irish Independent

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