January 28, 2022

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Northern Eire’s Well being Minister Is Suing Van Morrison Over Covid Criticism

Northern Ireland’s Health Minister Is Suing Van Morrison Over Covid Criticism

Northern Island’s well being minister has sued Van Morrison, who has mentioned the minister’s dealing with of Covid-19 restrictions was “very harmful.”

Paul Tweed, the lawyer for the well being minister, Robin Swann, confirmed on Monday {that a} lawsuit had been filed.

“Authorized proceedings are actually at a sophisticated stage, with an anticipated listening to date early in 2022,” Mr. Tweed mentioned in an electronic mail, including that he couldn’t remark “any additional at this stage.” The Belfast Telegraph reported the lawsuit on Sunday.

Joe Rice, a lawyer for Mr. Morrison, didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon Monday. He advised The Associated Press that Mr. Morrison would contest the declare, arguing “that the phrases utilized by him associated to a matter of public curiosity and constituted honest remark.”

In June, Mr. Morrison denounced Mr. Swann from the stage on the Europa Lodge in Belfast after several other concerts were canceled due to virus restrictions.

Mr. Morrison, 76, who was born in Belfast and was knighted in 2016, has dismissed the coronavirus pandemic — the loss of life toll for which surpassed five million people final week — as media hype and has criticized Covid-19 restrictions although his music.

Within the fall of 2020, as one other wave of the pandemic raged, Mr. Morrison launched three protest songs that criticized the measures that Northern Eire’s authorities had taken to gradual the unfold of the virus. One music, “No Extra Lockdown,” claimed that scientists have been “making up crooked information” concerning the virus.

On the time, Mr. Swann known as the songs “harmful” in an interview with BBC Radio Ulster.

“I don’t know the place he will get his information,” Mr. Swann mentioned of the songs. “I do know the place the feelings are on this, however I’ll say that type of messaging is harmful.”

The songs additionally prompted Mr. Swann to jot down an opinion article for Rolling Stone by which he mentioned that Mr. Morrison’s “phrases will give nice consolation to the conspiracy theorists.”

In August, Mr. Morrison dropped a authorized problem towards a “blanket ban” on stay music in licensed venues in Northern Island, in response to the BBC. As Northern Eire eased Covid-19 restrictions, stay music was allowed to renew.

Mr. Morrison welcomed the information on the time but additionally mentioned he was disillusioned that he needed to cancel some live shows in Belfast over the summer season.

In May, Mr. Morrison, who is thought for hits like “Brown Eyed Lady” and “Moondance,” launched a double album, “Newest Report Challenge, Vol. 1.” The album, together with the songs “Why Are You on Fb?” and “They Management the Media,” has been assailed by critics who’ve accused Mr. Morrison of antisemitism and embracing conspiracy theories.

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