The National Asset Management Agency has taken legal proceedings against a former employee over the alleged removal of confidential information from the agency.

NAMA said that while investigating that transaction, it became aware that confidential data may have been taken from the agency without authorisation.

Last week NAMA obtained orders from the High Court against former portfolio manager Enda Farrell and his wife Alice Kramer directing them to deliver up all materials containing confidential information relating to NAMA.

Those proceedings were held in private but the order preventing them from being reported on was lifted this afternoon, at NAMA's request.

NAMA said that following the High Court orders, it recovered data from the defendants' computers and other electronic storage devices and is currently analysing that data.

The commercial division of the High Court granted an application by NAMA to have the proceedings admitted to its list.

Lawyers for NAMA told the court that information was taken in a premeditated way over a number of months.

The court was told the confidential information taken relates to loans and properties with a combined value of many billions of euro.

Senior Counsel for NAMA, Cian Ferriter, said a serious breach of confidence had occurred.

He said the information could potentially have been of use to the defendants in the commercial property marketplace.

He said NAMA needed to be in a position to get to the bottom of the extent of the misuse of the information and the agency had to complete an evaluation of the material and identify if any of it had been used to cause damage to the agency.

The court was told Mr Farrell and his wife were fully cooperating with the agency. Their lawyers said they had complied with the orders of the court and would continue to do so.

In its statement, NAMA said it became aware on 2 August that in 2011, Mr Farrell had acquired a property as his private residence from a NAMA debtor.

The agency said its auditors, Deloitte, carried out a review of this transaction and established that the sale was transacted at market value. Howeverk it said the failure of Mr Farrell to disclose this transaction was a breach of its internal procedures.

It said the board of NAMA was currently reviewing the Deloitte findings in full and would consider if there were any changes required to NAMA's compliance procedures

It also said its board and management regarded any data breach with the utmost concern.

It said it was reporting the circumstances of the removal of confidential information to the gardaí and it has also made a report to the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner.

The case was adjourned until 8 October.

Ms Justice Finlay Geoghegan directed that NAMA should indicate at that stage if it is proceeding with a claim for damages against Mr Farrell and his wife.