The dominance of the foreign-owned multi-national sector in Ireland has concealed weaknesses in key parts of the domestic economy, according to the Nevin Economic Research Institute.

New research from NERI suggests these weaknesses are particularly prevalent in the information technology sector.

It also says the domestically owned economy is over-reliant on low productivity sectors like hotels and restaurants.

The research into labour productivity says the performance of foreign-owned multi-nationals in Ireland is very strong, and bolsters Ireland’s overall performance when compared to Northern Ireland and EU 15 economies.

However the big numbers hide weaknesses, notably in domestically owned information technology firms, raising questions about the level of spillover benefits to this sector, despite the presence in Ireland of some of the biggest technology firms in the world.

The trade union-backed NERI also questions the wisdom of using State supports and tax breaks to grow the hospitality sector, which could have been used to support higher productivity - and higher wage - sectors.

Northern Ireland fares worse in this analysis.

A higher level of foreign direct investment than the EU 15 average has not led to a higher level of productivity overall.

It also says the goal of creating an all-island economy has not been realised, and Brexit is likely to make that task more difficult.