New research has shown that most cases of harassment of immigrants happen on the streets or on public transport.

The survey of racism and discrimination by the Economic and Social Research Institute showed 35% had experienced harassment in public places and on public transport.

It is the first large scale study of immigrants' experience of racism and discrimination in Ireland.

Almost one in three work permit holders and asylum seekers said they had been insulted or discriminated against in the workplace.

There was also evidence of discrimination in State services, in particular immigration, where 17% said they were badly treated.

Other areas of concern were access to housing, healthcare and social services.

In all areas, asylum seekers are treated worse than work permit holders, as are those from south and central Africa.

While levels of reported racism in Ireland are lower than other countries, the ESRI says immigration is relatively new to Ireland and comes at a time of rapid economic growth.

The institute says it is still not known if racism will increase or decrease as migrant communities become more established.