HALF of all small firms who applied for funding in the last three months were refused credit by their bank, it emerged today.
A survey found nine out of 10 businesses also believed banks are making it more difficult to access finance.
Irish Small and Medium Business Enterprise (ISME) claimed access to credit is abysmal, with the application process getting longer.
Mark Fielding, chief executive, said: "We must put an end to the fiction that bailed-out Irish banks are functioning properly."
More than 900 firms took part in Isme's quarterly bank watch survey last week.
US funeral for reporter Colvin
War correspondent Marie Colvin is being laid to rest in the Long Island community of her childhood where she first decided to become a reporter.
A funeral is being held today at St Dominic Roman Catholic Church in Oyster Bay for the Sunday Times of London journalist killed while covering the slaughter of Syrian civilians.
The 56-year-old Queens native died on February 22 when the Syrian government troops attacked a makeshift media centre in the Syrian city of Homs.
€190k haul of movie posters
A group of rare classic movie posters found in a US. attic is going up for auction.
The 33 posters from the Golden Age of Hollywood, found in Pennsylvania, are expected to fetch at least $250,000 (€190,000) in Texas on March 23.
They were stuck together with wallpaper glue when they were purchased for around $30,000 (e23,000) at an auction last fall.
Move The item expected to get the most attention is a 1931 poster for Dracula. Actor Nicolas Cage sold an identical poster in 2009 for $310,000.