Senator Regina Doherty
Regina Doherty is Deputy Leader of Seanad Éireann, & spokesperson on Transport and Leader of the Fine Gael Group in the Seanad. She served as Leader of the House from 27th June 2020 to 17th December 2022.
Regina was first elected to Dáil Eireann in February 2011, having served as a County Councillor on Meath County Council since 2009. She served as Government Chief Whip from 2016 to 2017 and Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection from 2017 to 2020.
As Minister, Regina led on several Bills that introduced new employment rights, by banning zero-hour contacts, introducing banded-hours contracts, and establishing contractual terms of engagement by law. She increased the minimum wage three times, introduced Jobseekers’ Payments for self-employed people and initiated the Hot School Meals programme for children between the ages of 4 and 12.
When Covid struck, emergency measures were implemented effectively and efficiently. The Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) and Illness Payment, which were paid at a weekly rate of €350, were devised by Regina and her colleagues to support people who lost their ability to earn an income due to lockdowns. Regina also initiated emergency accommodation for victims of domestic violence during Covid, after recommendations from Safe Ireland.
Regina is currently a member of the Oireachtas Committee on Gender Equality, the Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs, and she also chairs the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party sub-group on Foreign Affairs, European Affairs and the Good Friday Agreement.
As a Senator, Regina has fought for the aviation industry in the wake of restrictions on air travel as a result of the pandemic. She has also stood up for the horticultural sector, supporting local growers in North County Dublin. She introduced the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Bill 2022 – which will support victims of crime by ensuring character references in court are given under oath and cross examined – and the Civil Registration (Amendment) (Certificate of Life) Bill, to provide a non-statutory register for families sadly affected by stillbirth and neonatal death.
Regina hails from North Dublin and has been married to Declan for 25 years. They have four children.