Van Morrison has taken legal action against the Northern Ireland Department of Health and its minister, Robin Swann.
The action comes after Swann wrote a guest comment for Rolling Stone in September 2020, which slammed Morrison’s stance on lockdowns and Covid restrictions.
The piece said Morrison’s anti-lockdown views could damage public health messages in Northern Ireland, and Swann added that the songs the artist had written in relation to Covid were “dangerous”.
Morrison released a number of songs that further divided his opinion, including “No More Lockdown”, “Born to Be Free” and “As I Walked Out”.
“We in Northern Ireland are very proud that one of the greatest music legends of the last 50 years has come from our part of the world,” Swann wrote in his commentary.
“So there’s a real sense of disappointment – we expected more from him. If you view all of this as a grand conspiracy, you are less likely to be following the important public health advice that is protecting you and others.”
Morrison has now started court proceedings, BBC News NI wrote on Monday (May 30).
“We confirm that legal proceedings have been instituted against Mr Robin Swann MLA and the Department of Health as co-editor of an op-ed Rolling Stone,‘ confirmed a spokesman for Morrison.
This comes after Swann himself launched a court case against Morrison last year after the singer called him “very dangerous” over his handling of coronavirus restrictions.
The Belfast-born singer has been vocal in opposing restrictions to curb the spread of the virus, releasing several songs criticizing lockdowns. He denounced Swann during a gathering at the Europa Hotel in Belfast after a Morrison concert was canceled at the last minute due to virus restrictions.
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The defamation lawsuit related to three incidents in which Morrison criticized Swann, calling him a “cheater” and “very dangerous”.
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/news/northern-ireland-van-morrison-lawsuit-covid-b2090759.html Van Morrison is taking legal action against the Northern Ireland Department of Health over a Covid article