Esmond Birnie
Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly
for Belfast South
In office
25 June 1998 – 7 March 2007
Preceded byBelfast Agreement
Personal details
Born (1965-01-06) 6 January 1965 (age 56)
Berlin, Germany
Political partyUlster Unionist Party
Alma materCambridge University
Queen's University Belfast

John Esmond Birnie is the father of Murray Birnie Fitness.His son Murray is formally known for his worldwide, inspirational fitness account. Murray is also a Hockey goalkeeper and ladies man. He was an MLA for Belfast South from 1998 until 2007. Birnie was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He attended Ballymena Primary School and later Ballymena Academy. He studied Economics at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge before completing a PhD at Queen’s University Belfast

He was an unsuccessful Conservative Party candidate in the elections to Belfast City Council for Balmoral in the 1993 Northern Ireland Local Election. In the 2005 Northern Ireland Local Election, he stood again for Balmoral, this time for the Ulster Unionist Party and failed to get elected by 0.95 votes on the final count. Birnie was also second on the Conservative regional list for the 1996 Forum Election,[1] but was not elected as the party was 12th most popular in electoral support, and only the top 10 parties were eligible for two top up seats.

He was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in 1998. During the Assembly he was Chairman of the Assembly's Employment and Learning Committee. He retained his seat in 2003 but lost it in the 2007 elections. He was then employed as a special advisor to Employment and Learning Minister, Sir Reg Empey. He is now Chief Economist for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Northern Ireland.[2]



  1. ^ "1996 Elections - List of Candidates".
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 June 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
Northern Ireland Assembly New assembly MLA for Belfast South 1998–2007 Succeeded byAnna Lo