Northern Ireland’s health minister has filed a lawsuit against musician Van MorrisonI accused him of defamation.
Health Minister Robin Swann claims Morrison’s public comments harmed his reputation by implying he was unfit for his role and bungled the pandemic, Northern Ireland’s Sunday Life newspaper reported.
Morrison was furious that Swann’s COVID lockdowns had forced him to cancel his concerts. In June, Morrison tried to get his fans at a Belfast hotel to chant: “Robin Swann is very dangerous.”
When he was later asked about it by Sunday Life, Morrison said he didn’t regret it, adding: “Of course he’s dangerous.”
Morrison uploaded a YouTube video explaining his reasons for believing Swann to be dangerous. He claimed to have contacted Swann and demanded “scientific evidence” to justify banning live music during the pandemic.
Morrison wrote three songs last year —“No More Lockdown,” “Born to Be Free” and “As I Walked Out” — all of which bashed the government and protested the COVID lockdowns. As Morrison sings on “No More Lockdown”:
“No more lockdown
Government overreach is no longer an option
No more fascist bullies
Disturbing our peace
Our freedom is ours again
These are our God-given right
Pretending it’s for our safety
When it’s really to enslave.”
Many fans took issueWith the music:
Swann slammed the songs in an op-ed that appeared in Rolling Stone, and said they would give conspiracy theorists “great comfort.” He called the theorists the “tinfoil hat brigade who crusade against masks and vaccines.”
Morrison couldn’t be reached immediately for comment.