Joe Byrne (politician)

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Joe Byrne
Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly
for West Tyrone
In office
5 May 2011 – Present
Preceded by Kieran Deeny
Personal details
Born (1953-11-29) 29 November 1953 (age 61) [1]
Political party SDLP
Alma mater Queen's University Belfast
Religion Roman Catholicism

Joe Byrne is an Irish Nationalist politician in Northern Ireland, representing West Tyrone between 1998 and 2003 and since 2011 in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Political biography[edit]

After studying economics at Queen's University Belfast, Byrne became a college lecturer. He also joined the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), and in 1993 was elected to Omagh District Council, becoming Chairman in 1997.[2]

In 1996, Byrne was elected to the Northern Ireland Forum representing West Tyrone.[2] He was appointed to the Northern Ireland Policing Board and was only 1,161 votes away from taking the Westminster seat of West Tyrone at the 1997 general election.[3]

He held his seat at the Northern Ireland Assembly election, 1998,[2] but was not re-elected in 2003.[3] In 2005, he also lost his seat on the Council.[4] In 2009, he was appointed Chairperson of the SDLP and was re-elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in May 2011.


Northern Ireland Assembly
Preceded by
New creation
MLA for West Tyrone
1998 - 2003
Succeeded by
Kieran Deeny
Preceded by
Kieran Deeny
MLA for West Tyrone
Party political offices
Preceded by
Eddie McGrady
Chairperson of the Social Democratic and Labour Party