Solicitors acting for Bank of Ireland gained access to the home of solicitor Brian O'Donnell and his wife Dr Mary Patricia O'Donnell, to carry out a cataloguing exercise of the contents.

A family member speaking at the couple's home, Gorse Hill, on Vico Road in Killiney in Dublin, confirmed solicitors were inside the home carrying out the work.

It was on foot of a High Court order.

The couple have been at the centre of a High Court case with Bank of Ireland over attempts by the bank to recover €75m under judgment orders for loans granted to the couple for property and investments.

Reading a prepared statement, off camera, a family member said: "Arthur Cox obtained an ex parte in camera order from Justice Kelly on Friday night after they lost their court case in the London High Court where they tried to get a permanent charging order.

“Bank of Ireland were ordered to pay the O'Donnell's costs.

"At 8am Arthur Cox arrived with EE Auctioneers and a number of other unidentified people arrived at the gates of Gorse Hill.

“They served the order, which has a penal endorsement, and demanded access to the property to schedule art, furniture, curtains, rugs and electronics.

"Arthur Cox demanded access immediately or the O'Donnells and their children would be committing a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment."

The family said Arthur Cox staff were seen in the area of the house over the weekend in preparation for today's works.

The family member said; "Arthur Cox were granted access and the situation is calm."

The O'Donnells live in London and were not present, said the family.

The High Court heard last week that Bank of Ireland may challenge an application the O'Donnell's had lodged in the UK for bankruptcy.

In the Commercial Court last week Mr Justice Peter Kelly adjourned the Bank of Ireland's action against the O'Donnells until June.