Van Morrison sued by Northern Ireland’s health minister over COVID criticism

Northern Ireland’s health minister is suing Van Morrison after the singer called him “very dangerous” for his handling of coronavirus restrictions.

The Belfast-born singer opposes restrictions to curb the spread of the virus, and has released several songs criticizing lockdowns. He denounced Northern Ireland Health Minister Robin Swann during a gathering at Belfast’s Europa Hotel in June after a Morrison concert was canceled at the last minute because of virus restrictions.

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Van Morrison has been sued by Northern Ireland’s health minister after Morrison called him ‘very dangerous’ for his handling of coronavirus restrictions.

Van Morrison has been sued by Northern Ireland’s health minister after Morrison called him ‘very dangerous’ for his handling of coronavirus restrictions.
(Photo by Gareth Cattermole)

The defamation suit relates to three incidents in which Morrison criticized Swann, calling him “a fraud” and “very dangerous.”

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Swann responded in an article for Rolling Stone magazine, calling the “Moondance” singer’s claims “bizarre and irresponsible.”

Van Morrison attends the Music For The Marsden 2020 at The O2 Arena on March 03, 2020 in London, England. 

Van Morrison attends the Music For The Marsden 2020 at The O2 Arena on March 03, 2020 in London, England. 
(Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)

Swann’s lawyer, Paul Tweed, said proceedings “are at an advanced stage with an anticipated hearing date early in 2022.” The lawsuit was first reported in the Sunday Life newspaper.

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Morrison’s lawyer, Joe Rice, said the singer would contest the claim. He said Morrison will argue “that the words used by him related to a matter of public interest and constituted fair comment.”

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