RTÉ News has learned that the former Fianna Fáil minister, Ray Burke, has issued legal proceedings against the State to recover costs incurred during his dealings with the Flood Tribunal.

Mr Burke has issued High Court proceedings against the tribunal, its former chairman Mr Justice Feargus Flood, the Minister for the Environment, Ireland and the Attorney General.

He is seeking an order directing them to pay the costs incurred by him in the course of the tribunal's hearings.

Mr Burke will argue that he is entitled to recover his costs, which are expected to run into several million euro, despite the fact that the tribunal's interim report found he had obstructed the inquiry.

The Department of the Environment said it had just become aware of the proceedings and was studying developments.

The move comes in advance of forthcoming legislation to allow the current chairman, Judge Alan Mahon, to decide on the issue of costs.