Northern Irish police are to re-open an investigation into claims that the IRA was still smuggling guns into Ireland from the US in the late 1990s.

The development comes after a Florida arms dealer told the BBC "Spotlight" program that he had helped senior Sinn Fein figure Spike Murray import weapons.

Murray described the accusation as "without foundation."

Mike Logan, a former stockbroker based in Florida, told the BBC he had been involved in sending hundreds of guns and that Murray was his main contact.

On the day after the BBC program was broadcast, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said it had re-opened its investigation in the case.

In a statement, a PSNI spokeswoman said, "PIRA gun running from Florida is now subject to reinvestigation which will include an examination of existing evidence together with the examination of any potential new evidence that has come to light in the last few days."

DUP minister Arlene Foster said, “It doesn't really matter whether Sinn Féin dismiss the claims from last night's program.

"What we want to know now is whether the police were made aware of the information that the individual (Mike Logan) from America gave last night and if they weren't aware, why were they not aware."

Other unionists called for the investigation to be re-opened “as a matter of urgency."