The Officer of the Director of Corporate Enforcement wants the High Court to determine if documents given to it by the Football Association of Ireland contain privileged legal material.

The application relates to certain material sought from the FAI by the ODCE, which was supplied by the association earlier this week.

The application, made under the 2014 Companies Act, comes as part of a probe by the ODCE in relation to "certain matters" concerning the FAI.

In what was a brief hearing before Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds at the High Court, lawyers for the ODCE said the application relates to "potentially legally privileged material".

In a sworn statement to the court, the ODCE said on 19 April it issued a notification requiring the FAI to hand over copies of books and documents.

The documents sought include the minutes of all meetings of the FAI Board of Directors and Committees of the board for the period 1 January 2016 to 21 March 2019 inclusive. 

On Wednesday 1 May, the FAI produced the required documentation, and also placed several documents, in a separate container, which the association seeks to claim privilege over.

The ODCE now wants the High Court to determine if this material is privileged legal material or not.

The integrity of that allegedly privileged material supplied by the association has been maintained, the ODCE says in its sworn statement. 

The FAI has been informed that the ODCE intends to make the application to the court.

As part of the application, the ODCE will seek to have a legally qualified person examine the material and prepare a report for the court.

Ms Justice Reynolds granted the ODCE permission to serve short notice of the application asking the court to make a ruling in respect of the material against FAI.

The judge adjourned the matter, which will be next mentioned before the court on Tuesday.

The move comes weeks after a controversy arose about a loan of €100,000 that was given to the association by its former CEO John Delaney in 2017.

Mr Delaney recently moved from his position to a new role of executive vice-president, before then stepping aside as an independent investigation was announced.

A number of other senior members of the FAI have also resigned from the board in the wake of the controversy.

Last month, the organisation's auditors Deloitte reported the FAI to the Companies Registration Office.

The H4 report claimed the FAI's accounts were not being kept properly, which would represent a contravention of sections 281 and 282 of the Companies Act 2014.

Section 281 says adequate accounting records should be kept.