Van Morrison sues Northern Ireland Health Department and minister Robin Swann over COVID song criticism

WION Web Team
Northern Ireland Updated: May 31, 2022, 01:35 PM(IST)

Northern Irish singer and songwriter Van Morrison(left), Politician Robin Swann (right) Photograph:( Others )

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Von Morrison, in September 2020, released three songs, including ‘No More Lockdown’, ‘Born to Be Free', and ‘As I Walked Out’. 

Northern Irish singer and songwriter Van Morrison has started legal proceedings against the Northern Ireland Department of Health and its minister, Robin Swann, over an opinion piece the latter wrote for Rolling Stone magazine. Swann had blasted the singer’s standpoint on COVID19 restrictions and lockdowns. 

Calling Morrison’s songs relating to Covid "dangerous," Minister Robin Swann criticised Morrison and said his anti-lockdown views could harm public health messages in Northern Ireland. 

Morrison, in September 2020, released three songs, including ‘No More Lockdown’, ‘Born to Be Free', and ‘As I Walked Out’. One of the song’s lyrics accused scientists of "making up crooked facts."

Swann, in the opinion piece, said he feels disappointed in Morrison, whom he acknowledged as a "music legend."

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Further, he wrote, "If you see it all as a big conspiracy, then you are less likely to follow the vital public health advice that keeps you and others safe." 

Terming Morrison's actions "bizarre and irresponsible," Swann said: "I only hope no one takes him seriously. He’s no guru, no teacher. "

Morrison has now taken legal action against the Department of Health and Swann. The singer's solicitors have denied giving details about the lawsuit, while the Northern health department has declined to comment. 

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However, Morrison’s spokesperson informed, "We confirm that legal proceedings have been instituted against Mr. Robin Swann MLA and the Department of Health as co-editors of an op-ed in Rolling Stone.’

Morrison’s action comes after Swann issued a court case against the singer in 2021. 

The singer's four concerts were cancelled at the last minute in Belfast in June after Northern Ireland put a "blanket ban" on live music concerts as a part of the virus-induced restrictions. 

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