Shareholders in Datalex, the troubled airline e-commerce company, have voted to accept a loan of €6m from businessman Dermot Desmond.

An Extraordinary General Meeting to approve the loan this afternoon heard that the company chairman, Paschal Taggart, will resign from the board at the next AGM in June.

Mr Taggart said: "Somebody has got to fall on their sword in these situations, and I am the chairman, so its me"

He added that at the age of 76 he had been planning to step down from the company for some time, and believed that new people coming in would add energy to the company.

He declined to comment when asked if he thought there would be further resignations, particularly at executive level.

Earlier this year accountancy irregularities were discovered in the 2018 interim accounts which has the effect of overstating earnings.

A forecast profit of $16 million became an expected loss of up to $4m, before interest, tax depreciation and amortisation.

The company’s largest shareholder, Mr Desmond (through a subsidiary of IIU), bought just under four million worth of additional shares in the company, lifting his stake to 29.9%.

He had also offered the company a loan facility of just over €6m over 18 months, at an interest rate of 10%.

Asked by journalists why the company had not gone to its bankers for a loan facility, Mr Taggart said the implant does not have any bank loan facilities, and has never needed any.

He said it would not look good applying for a first bank loan on the back of a financial performance like last years.

Earlier, Mr Taggart had told shareholders that as an accountant of long standing he always believed in the importance for companies of having adequate cash flow, and he recommended they vote in favour of the loan.

He began the short meeting by apologising to shareholders and staff who were made redundant at Datalex for the poor financial performance of the company.

Just three shareholders spoke at the meeting and all expressed confidence in the company and the chairman.

IIU and associated parties abstained from the vote today, and Mr Desmond’s representatives on the board had absents themselves from discussions at board level about the loan.