Esmond Birnie

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Esmond Birnie
Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly
for Belfast South
In office
25 June 1998 – 7 March 2007
Preceded by Belfast Agreement
Succeeded by Anna Lo
Personal details
Born (1965-01-06) 6 January 1965 (age 52)
Edinburgh, Scotland
Nationality British
Political party Ulster Unionist Party
Alma mater Cambridge University
Queen's University Belfast
Profession Economist

Dr John Esmond Birnie, (born 6 January 1965) is an author, economist, and Ulster Unionist Party politician. He is a former Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly (MLA) for South Belfast.

After attending Ballymena Primary School and Ballymena Academy, Birnie became a graduate of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge in Economics. He completed a PhD in Economics at Queens University Belfast before becoming a senior lecturer.

He has appeared as an expert economics witness in the House of Commons[1] and is a leading critic of the euro.

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,[2] 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.[3]


  • John Bradley; J. Esmond Birnie (2001). Can the Celtic tiger cross the Irish border?. Cork University Press. ISBN 978-1-85918-312-0. 
  • Firm, Competitiveness and Environmental Regulations: A Study of the European Food Processing Industries by David Hitchens, Esmond Birnie, Angela McGowan, and Ursula Triebswetter (Hardcover - 28 October 1998)
  • The Northern Ireland Economy: Performance, Prospects and Policy by Esmond Birnie and D.M.W.N. Hitchens (Hardcover - 23 February 1999)
  • Environmental Regulation and Competitive Advantage: A Study of Packaging Waste in the European Supply Chain by David Hitchens, Esmond Birnie, William Thompson, and Ursula Triebswetter (Hardcover - 29 March 2000)


External links[edit]

Northern Ireland Assembly
Preceded by
New creation
MLA for Belfast South
1998 - 2007
Succeeded by
Anna Lo