Up to 1,000 protesters took to the streets of Ferbane, Co Offaly to protest against the proposed closure of the town's only bank this lunchtime.

The branch is one of 14 branches nationwide which is earmarked for closure in March of 2015.

The march was attended by Fine Gael TD Marcella Corcoran Kennedy and Fianna Fáil TD Barry Cowen, who both called on Ulster Bank to reconsider the decision.

Campaigners say commitments were given to retain the bank branch when sub-branches were closed in nearby Shannonbridge, Cloghan and Kilcormac.

Branch customers, who have been informed that their accounts are to be moved to Athlone 20kms away, are concerned the closure will lead to problems for local businesses and could create security issues.

The protesters vowed to continue with their campaign and to take the protest to Ulster Bank's Dublin headquarters if needs be.