|Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly|
for Belfast South
25 June 1998 – 7 March 2007
|Preceded by||Belfast Agreement|
|Born||6 January 1965|
|Political party||Ulster Unionist Party|
|Alma mater||Cambridge 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, 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.