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Van Morrison is suing the Northern Ireland Department of Health and Minister Robin Swann over COVID song criticism


Northern Irish singer and songwriter Van Morrison has taken legal action 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 lambasted the singer’s take on COVID19 restrictions and lockdowns.

Calling Morrison’s Covid-related songs “dangerous”, Minister Robin Swann slammed Morrison and said his anti-lockdown views could harm public health messaging 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 lyrics of the song accused scientists of “making up twisted facts”.

Swann, in the opinion piece, said he was disappointed with Morrison, whom he acknowledged as a “music legend”.

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Additionally, he wrote, “If you see this all as one big conspiracy, then you’re less likely to follow vital public health advice that protects you and others.”

Calling Morrison’s actions “bizarre and irresponsible”, Swann said: “I just hope no one takes him seriously. He’s not a guru or a teacher.”

Morrison has now taken legal action against the Department of Health and Swann. The singer’s lawyers denied giving details of the lawsuit, while the North Health Department declined to comment.

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However, Morrison’s spokesman advised: ‘We confirm that legal proceedings have been taken against Mr Robin Swann MP and the Department of Health as joint editors of an editorial in Rolling Stone.’

Morrison’s action comes after Swann filed a lawsuit against the singer in 2021.

The singer’s four gigs were canceled at the last minute in Belfast in June after Northern Ireland imposed a ‘blanket ban’ on live music gigs under virus-induced restrictions.

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