A junior minister has said the disputed overseas assets of the Quinn group belong to the Irish people through the State's ownership of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, formerly Anglo Irish Bank.

Minister of State for Public Service Reform Brian Hayes said the Government is liaising with Ukrainian authorities on the issue.

Meanwhile, Seán Quinn has said he stands by the steps taken by his family to fight back against the former Anglo Irish Bank.

On Friday the High Court found that his son Seán Quinn Jnr and nephew Peter Darragh Quinn had committed an "outrageous" contempt of court by not reversing a €500m asset-stripping scheme, mostly relating to properties in Russia and Ukraine.

They were sentenced to three months in jail. Seán Quinn Jnr spent his second night in Mountjoy Prison last night.

Prison authorities have decided that he will serve out the remainder of his three-month sentence in the prison's Training Unit, which is a semi-open, low-security facility.

An arrest warrant remains in place for Peter Darragh Quinn.

It is believed he may be in Northern Ireland, where his arrest warrant cannot be enforced.