New figures out today show Irish people make up the largest proportion of foreign directors in the UK.

The figures show there are almost 55,000 Irish people on boards of companies throughout the UK.

The fifth annual Foreign Directors in the UK report shows 17% of all foreign directors in the country are Irish, making Ireland by far the largest group represented.

The figures represent an increase of 6% on last year.

The statistics were compiled from business data at Companies House in London and show Irish representation in the services sector is particularly strong, followed closely by the areas of construction and retail.

The large number of Irish in the UK, as well as the lack of language barriers, are cited by some company directors as the reasons why the Irish often do so well in the UK business environment.

The figures also show the number of women in senior roles has not increased in the last five years, although the geographical spread has changed with many Irish now choosing to base themselves not just in London but in areas such as the North West of Britain.

The report was published by the London-based Eulogy PR Group.