New figures released by the Irish Central Statistics Office (CSO) record that in 2010 there were 122 racist incidents, including harassment, minor assaults and public order offenses in Ireland.

The new figure represents a drop for the fourth consecutive year, but in the same period there was an alarming rise in offenses aimed at members of the Jewish community.

Responding to the latest figures the Immigrant Council of Ireland said they believed that incidents of racially motivated crime are actually on the increase.

Last year in Ireland there were 13 recorded incidents of anti-semitic crime, up sharply from five from the previous year and the highest such figure for half a decade.

Chief executive Denise Charlton of the immigrant council told the Irish Examiner: 'Information given to us from migrants and people from minority ethnic groups is that racist incidents have increased since the economic crisis,' Charlton said.

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'People are experiencing racism, violence, harassment and antisocial behavior in their communities and in the workplace. One of the difficulties with the official statistics is that people are often reluctant, for a range of reasons, to report racist incidents.

'We are working with the gardai (Irish police), employers and migrants to help address under-reporting of racist crimes and harassment.

'Collection of accurate data is crucial if we are to put in place effective programs and responses to address racism in Ireland.'

Of the 122 racially motivated incidents reported by the CSO, 36 were said to be minor assaults. Another 26 were public order offenses while 22 incidents were criminal damage which did not include arson. There were 7 cases of assault causing harm and seven cases of harassment.