At a time of economic prosperity in Ireland, immigration is on the rise. But so too is racism towards the migrant communities.

The Nyando children are fluent Irish speakers and feel well integrated in their community. However, for their father a medical lab scientist, who has been in Ireland for fifteen years, discrimination and racial abuse are getting worse. Charles Nyando describes being attacked on Abbey Street in Dublin's city centre following a hurling match.

The Economic and Social Research Institute's (ESRI) national study of racism and discrimination supports Charles's experience. Research published by the ESRI shows most cases of harassment of immigrants happens on the streets or on public transport.

The survey found that 35% of immigrants had been abused in public places and on public transport, with almost one in three experiencing insults and discrimination in the workplace. A further 17% said that they were badly treated by immigration services. The study also found that asylum seekers are treated worse than work permit holders and some ethnic groups suffered significantly worse than others.

Philip O'Connell of the ESRI comments, "In the case of harrassment on the street it would be about one in three. In the case of black Africans it is more than half have experienced some harassment. In the work place it is about 37% of black Africans compared to over all about one in five. So they are much more exposed to experiences of racism and discrimination."

According to the report while levels of racism in Ireland are lower than in other countries, the ESRI says that immigration is relatively new to Ireland and comes at a time when the country is experiencing rapid economic growth. The question remains as to whether racism will increase as migrant communities become more established.