Van Morrison has been sued by the government of Ireland because of what they believe are dangerous and slanderous comments Van Morrison has made about coronavirus restrictions. The comments that Van Morrison has made about the restrictions that Ireland’s Government have taken to slow down the progression of the virus have taken place both in public forums and in his songs the singer has released calling the entire pandemic totally media hype. Although there was no mention of the five million people who have died from the pandemic in those songs.
A defamation suit has been filed against Van Morrison by Northern Ireland’s Health Minister Robin Swann. The defamation suit filed by Robin Swann points to three specific incidents in which Van Morrison criticized Northern Ireland’s Health Minister by calling him a very dangerous person and a fraud. During the coronavirus pandemic Van Morrison has been highly critical of the restrictions that have been put forth on concerts and public gatherings.
In the Spring of 2021, Van Morrison raged on a a stage in Belfast against the government. On his website, Van Morrison called for all his fellow musicians to rise up against the enslavement that the government was placing on its people. In a specific statement Van Morrison wrote to his fellow artists “Come forward, stand up, fight the pseudo-science and speak up.” This past fall, Van Morrison released an album filled with songs calling out Ireland’s government. His point cannot be made any clearer than in the title of one of the album’s songs entitled “No More Lockdown.” Lyrics within the songlike “No more taking of our freedom/And our God-given rights” have become part of the lawsuit filed against Van Morrison by Northern Ireland’s Health Minister.
For twenty one months, the entertainment industry has been turned upside down as thousands of concerts were cancelled due to the pandemic. It’s only in the past six months that we have seen an easing of restrictions in many countries. Despite his amazing success as a musical artist over the past fifty years, Van Morrison has continued to release new music on a very consistent basis and has continued to tour. For so many musical artists from the Grammy Award winners to local bars musicians, having their livelihood taken away from them has had severe economic consequences. Now of course that is also true for millions of other people in every other industry on the planet. However, Van Morrison has not taken kindly to being told he can’t perform and has lashed out harshly at Ireland’s government and specifically it’s health minister.
Robin Swan has called the comments that Van Morrison has made about him and the Irish government both “bizarre and irresponsible. Robin Swann argued that Van Morrison’s comments have fueled the fire that rages among conspiracy theorists and that restrictions are all part of global plot to remove the personal freedom of people. Robin Swann understands that singers as famous as Van Morrison have huge loyal followings and that because of their loyalty to the artist, many will actually take him seriously which would result in people not taking the Coronavirus Pandemic as serious as they should which would result in more sickness, spread and eventually deaths.
Is an artist being selfish in not seeing the impact that their words can have on public health? Do they really believe that it is all a conspiracy theory to remove freedoms and that the actual proof of seeing all the sickness and death that has resulted from this horrible pandemic is just media hype? Ask anyone who has lost a mother, a father, a son, daughter, brother or sister to Covid and listen to what they have to say about conspiracy theories.
Van Morrison has fought back against the lawsuit stating that his words about the restrictions and the virus constitute fair comment. Legal proceedings will continue in the matter.