The family of bankrupt former billionaire Seán Quinn have been given permission from the High Court to sue former Anglo Irish Bank Chairman Seán FitzPatrick for damages.

They needed permission from the court because Mr FitzPatrick is bankrupt.

Mr Justice Brian McGovern gave the Quinns permission after an undertaking was given on their behalf that they would not seek to enforce any judgment they may secure against Mr FitzPatrick's estate.

The estate is administered by the Official Assignee in Bankruptcy, Chris Lehane.

The court was told last month that Patricia Quinn and her five children will claim that, between September 2007 and July 2008, Mr Fitzpatrick conspired with others to enter into unlawful contracts.

The alleged actions occurred prior to Mr FitzPatrick being adjudicated a bankrupt in 2010.

Barrister Stephen Walsh for the Quinns said his clients were giving an undertakings that should they be successful in their action they will not seek to enforce any judgment for damages or legal costs against Mr FiztPatrick's estate.

Mr Walsh said the claim will be brought against an insurance policy concerning Mr FitzPatrick in his capacity as chairman of Anglo.

It was still to be determined if such an insurance policy existed or if it would cover the intended claim.

The official assignee said he had no objection to the action being brought now an indemnity had been given on behalf of the Quinns.

Mr Justice McGovern said he was satisfied to grant the Quinns permission, under Section 136 of the Bankruptcy Act, to bring their proposed action against Mr FitzPatrick.

He said the order was only being granted because of the indemnity offered by the Quinns.

The Quinns intend to bring proceedings against 11 other former Anglo directors, and the Central Bank and Department of Finance in their capacity as regulators, over loans of €2.34bn allegedly unlawfully issued by Anglo to Quinn companies during 2007 and 2008.