Reporting by Aodhan O'Faolain

Former FAI chief executive John Delaney has been joined as a notice party to proceedings brought by the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement concerning materials recently seized from the FAI's offices on foot of a search warrant.

The corporate watchdog, as part of its ongoing investigation, has brought an application asking the High Court to determine if the seized documents and materials are legally privileged.

If the court finds that information contained in the documents is legally privileged then it cannot be used by the ODCE as part of its investigation. 

The application was briefly mentioned before Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds on Thursday, who was informed by Jack Tchrakian BL, for Mr Delaney, that his client would like to be joined as a notice party.

When the matter was raised before the court earlier this week, Judge Reynolds had suggested that Mr Delaney be made a notice party.

The judge made the suggestion after being informed that the documents may raise private issues regarding Mr Delaney.

Kerida Naidoo SC, with Elva Duffy BL, for the ODCE, and Brian Gageby BL for the FAI, said their clients had no objection to Mr Delaney being joined to the proceedings.

The judge adjourned the matter to a date next month. 

Mr Delaney left the FAI permanently last September after talks with Irish soccer’s governing body. He had been serving as executive vice-president, having stepped down from the chief executive role after it emerged he had given a €100,000 loan to the beleaguered association.

The ODCE's application, which is made under various sections of the 2014 Companies Act, was brought after documents were seized from the FAI's offices at Abbotstown on 14 February.

The application is one of several that have made by the ODCE since it commenced its investigation into the FAI.

Last year, in one such application, the court ruled that extracts of documents the FAI had given to the ODCE were covered by legal privilege and could not be used as part of the probe.

Those proceedings related to certain parts of documents provided to it by both the FAI and auditors Deloitte Ireland.

The judge ruled the 14 passages in 16 documents provided by the FAI and Deloitte contained legally privileged material which could not be used in the investigation.