The property included an equestrian centre in Enfield, Co Meath, which Gilligan had bought and developed before he spent 17 years in prison for drug trafficking.
In continuing arguments on the second day of the case, Ben Ó'Floinn BL, for the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB), rejected claims they did not get a proper hearing.
The 1996 freezing orders, confirmed in a High Court decision in July 1997, were obtained in accordance with legal requirements, he said.
The Gilligans resiled from the opportunity to challenge those orders because they took the view that they would await the next stage provided for under the Proceeds of Crime Act 1996 which was an application by CAB to forfeit the property to the State, Mr Ó'Floinn said.
Michael Bromley Martin QC, for the Gilligans, disagreed with this characterisation about their approach to the freezing orders.
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They were assured by the authorities that the orders were of a temporary nature, he said.
Counsel also said at no time leading up to the final freezing orders had the family been represented.
This was because John Gilligan applied for an order under Section 6 of the Proceeds of Crime Act to allow a charge be placed on the property or to have funds released so that he could fund legal aid.