Ireland is failing to tackle hate crime by not keeping track of offences linked to race, religion or gender in violation of European conventions, according to a study by the EU's agency for Fundamental Rights.

It found that almost half of the EU's 27 member states could only provide "limited data" on hate crimes.

Countries cited by the report include Spain, Italy, Greece, Hungary, Bulgaria and Ireland.

The study found that in Ireland few incidents were recorded, data was rarely published and the motivation behind the crime, if specified, was usually restricted to racism.

Only four countries - Britain, Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands - had comprehensive data.

The Immigrant Council of Ireland said it responds to an average of one serious racist incident a week and that those responsible for hate crimes must be held to account.

It said Ireland must ensure that all people in the country are given every possible protection against hate crime.