Sunday 25 February 2018

'I just wanted to get a hug' - new Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty shares heartwarming picture after landing new role

Regina Doherty. Photo: Fergal Phillips
Regina Doherty. Photo: Fergal Phillips

Laura Larkin and Alan O'Keeffe

The newly appointed Minister for Social Protection, Regina Doherty, has revealed her delight at her dad making it to Leinster House to witness her nomination to her new Cabinet portfolio.

The former Chief Whip told RTÉ's Morning Ireland she wasn't sure her dad, who has been unwell, was going to be able to make it.

"I didn't want to make a big deal of it because maybe I wasn't going to be promoted," she said.

But when she met with the new Taoiseach and asked to take over his portfolio her father had made it for a short time and was in the coffee dock in Leinster House when she heard the news.

"Daddy hasn't been well lately and I wasn't sure he was going to come in yesterday

"I had to run down and find him.. I just wanted to get a hug, so he is very happy and proud," she said.

The Meath TD tweeted a picture with her dad after her new appointment and has said she will be calling on him for advice in her new role.

She captioned the picture "proudest daddy ever".

She said she is "relishing the opportunity and the challenge ahead".

Meanwhile her former constituency rival, outgoing junior minister Helen McEntee, wished Ms Doherty well. 

The constituency rivalry between the pair in Meath East is well known but Ms McEntee wished her rival every success on her promotion to the Cabinet as the new Employment and Social Protection Minister.

"I wish her the very best.  I think it's a special day for her and for her family.

"Last night, Eoghan Murphy and Michael Ring were elevated to the cabinet as well so I think it's exciting.

"I wish all of my colleagues well and obviously I'd be hoping that I'll stay where I am.

 "Absolutely hoping to stay where I am, fingers crossed," she said.

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