mars 28, 2023


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Paddy Cosgrave used « Web Summit resources for the benefit of his own family, » the former manager alleges in the lawsuit

Paddy Cosgrave used Web Summit resources « for the benefit of his own family » and engaged in bullying and harassment, a former director of Supreme Court proceedings alleged.

In an affidavit, David Kelly quoted company emails claiming that the Web Summit organized the locks for Cosgraves’ nanny and the possible provision of a new modem at Grandma’s apartment.

He also claimed that in 2019, Web Summit began selling clothes on behalf of Mr. Cosgrave’s wife, model Faye Densmore. This included a hand-woven sweater for €850 and a children’s hoodie for €240.

These allegations were made in a lawsuit by Kelly’s owned Graiguearidda Ltd, against Manders Terrace Ltd, the company behind Web Summit, Mr Cosgrave and his company Proto Roto Limited, over the alleged suppression of Mr Kelly as a minority shareholder.

The case was admitted to the Supreme Court’s commercial wing express slate today.

Judge Dennis MacDonald said there were « important business issues » involved.

In an affidavit in support of the request to enter the order on the list, Mr. Kelly alleged that Cosgrave’s behavior had « for many years » been « manipulative » and « threatening ».

I have been bullied, harassed, mistreated, coerced and intimidated. Kelly said our relationship has now completely broken down and can be described as irreparably toxic.

His company has a 12% stake in the top of the web, but Mr Kelly claimed that because of the way Mr Cosgrave was running the company, his minority stake was « virtually meaningless ».

Mr. Kelly alleged that Cosgrave « appeared to treat » the company « as an extension of his person » and did not meaningfully consult with him as a shareholder or fellow director. He resigned as director last March.

Bernard Dunleavy SC, on behalf of Manders Terrace Ltd, said that his side did not agree or object to the inclusion of the lawsuit in the court roll.

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“I just want to make that clear. Mr. Dunleavy said the decision not to object to entry in no way reflected the defendant’s view on the merits of the case.

We do not believe that the complaints raised at length, taken at their height, amount to repression. We are intent on vigorously defending the measures. »

The lawsuit comes just weeks after Manders Terrace issued proceedings against Mr Kelly for breach of his fiduciary duty, claiming he lost $10 million (€8.6 million) as a result of secretly setting up an investment fund to cash in on the success of the Web Summit. . Kelly denied the allegations.

It appears that both cases are now about to travel together and will return to court next March.

In an affidavit, Mr. Kelly said he had known Mr. Cosgrave for 25 years. They went to high school together and he, Mr. Cosgrave, and Daire Hickey co-founded the Web Summit.

In recent years, he said, their business relationship « has been seriously damaged as a direct result of Mr. Cosgrave’s conduct in the way he has conducted the affairs of the company ».

Among the allegations in the affidavit are that Mr. Cosgrave used company resources to run « toxic » campaigns and reprisals against Leo Varadkar, a friend of Taneste Maitiú Tuathail and IDA.

He claimed that Dr. Twathill’s defamation action for a defamatory tweet was a « prelude » to a « coordinated campaign » to harm Dr. Twathill.

The action was settled and Mr Cosgrave tweeted an apology in August of last year.

But Mr. Kelly claimed that by this time Mr. Cosgrave had begun working with a former colleague of Dr. Tuathail as well as an employee of Web Summit, with the aim of discrediting him.

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The legal filing clarified Mr Cosgrave’s alleged involvement in breaking the story that Mr Varadkar leaked a draft GP contract to Dr Twatail in April 2019 when it was still under negotiation. The leak is now under investigation by Gardaí.

Village Magazine He said Mr. Cosgrave made no contribution to the article he published revealing the leak. She says she published the article in accordance with normal journalism ethics and on the basis of what she independently believed was appropriate, fair and correct.

In an affidavit, Kelly alleged that a senior IDA executive was « humiliated » at a Web Summit event in New Orleans in 2018 where the organization sponsored a beverage reception for CEOs of nearly 200 companies.

He claimed that after a senior IDA executive gave a welcome speech, Mr. Cosgrave stood by « slow applause » and later told the audience that this would be the last time IDA would be allowed to sponsor a Web Summit event.

Mr. Kelly claimed that the « mixing » between Mr. Cosgrave’s affairs and those of the Web Summit was not limited to financial or political matters.

“There are documented cases in which Mr. Cosgrave has used Web Summit resources to help carry out administrative tasks for the benefit of his own family,” he claimed.

Mr. Kelly referred to company emails explaining how to purchase locks for Cosgraves’ nanny and discussing the potential supply of a new modem at Grandma’s apartment.

He claimed that in 2019, Web Summit started selling clothes for his wife, Faye Dinsmore, including a hand-woven sweater for €850 and a children’s hoodie for €240.

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« The sale of such clothes attracted adverse publicity to the Web Summit, » he said.

Mr Kelly raised the issue of donating €1 million in response to COVID-19 in Ireland.

On March 16, 2020, he said, Mr. Cosgrave tweeted that one aspect of the country’s response to the pandemic had been a « catastrophic failure of planning ».

In response, HSE CEO Paul Reed responded on Twitter, « Throwing stones off the sidelines doesn’t help anyone. »

A day later, Cosgrave announced the €1 million donation, which Kelly said was made without reference to other directors or senior Web Summit executives.

« Mr. Cosgrave ran the company in a manner akin to a personal fiefdom, as if he owned it himself, » Kelly claimed.

Mr Kelly alleged that he faced a coordinated campaign by Mr Cosgrave to damage his « professional and business activities ».

Mr. Cosgrave was accused of making up lies about him in order to damage his character.

This allegedly involved Mr. Cosgrave telling him he had heard he had passed by a mutual friend at a wedding.

Text messages from the mutual friend, described in the affidavit, confirmed that nothing untoward had happened.

He said that during one text exchange, Mr. Cosgrave indicated that he saw « kompromat » on Mr Kelly, a term used to describe material involving a settlement.

He said it became clear this was a reference to photos allegedly taken during his birthday weekend.

« Mr. Cosgrave was not this weekend and his reference to such images was fabricated, » Kelly said.

The case will return to court on March 14.