A final verdict has been given by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) which has ruled against convicted drug trafficker John Gilligan and his wife, Geraldine and their children, Treacy and Darren.
The case was taken by them over delays in legal proceedings to seize their properties.
The decision is final and cannot be appealed.
The Gilligans complained to the ECHR that the overall length of the multiple proceedings they had been involved in was excessive.
The court found delays in relation to the seizure of their assets were mainly down to the Gilligans' "wrong-headed legal tactics …. designed to frustrate and delay the proceedings”.
The duration of the proceedings was caused by their "vexatious delaying tactics", the court said.
The court said that the Gilligans had not appealed against the freezing order until 12 years after the original action by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB).
In November 1996, CAB brought High Court proceedings to freeze Gilligan’s assets on the grounds that the properties had been bought with earnings from the sale of illegal drugs.
The properties were eventually confiscated by the State in June 2017.
The Gilligans’ evidence on the root of the funds used to acquire the properties was rejected by the Irish courts.
The Gilligans had also been responsible for several delays in the appeal to the Supreme Court against a number of High Court judgments in 2011.