Sir Van Morrison sued by Northern Ireland's health minister over COVID comments

music news 09/11/2021

Sir Van Morrison is being sued by Northern Ireland's health minister over comments he made about his handling of the COVID-19 crisis.

The 76-year-old singer has been an outspoken critic of coronavirus restrictions, and he's now facing legal action for calling Robin Swann's handling of the health crisis "very dangerous".

The government minister has turned to libel lawyer Paul Tweed - who has previously represented the likes of Harrison Ford, Justin Timberlake and Jennifer Lopez - as he prepares to take the 'Brown Eyed Girl' hitmaker to court, the Sunday Life newspaper reports.

The legal action is actually thought to have been launched in June and proceedings are now "at an advanced stage", with a hearing expected in 2022.

Morrison is alleged to have called the government minister a "fraud" and he's also repeatedly described him as "dangerous".

The music star previously slammed the government over the last-minute cancellation of one of his gigs amid COVID-19 concerns.

In total, four gigs were cancelled around that time - including one at the Europa hotel in Belfast - due to COVID restrictions.

However, in September, he performed at the London Palladium when restrictions were still in place in Northern Ireland.

The singer - who has also released a number of lockdown protest songs - said: "For some reason, completely unknown to me, [the ban] remained in force in Northern Ireland with catastrophic consequences for many artists, venues and the economy as a whole.

"As we look to the future, we need to understand the plan and strategy to support the arts and live music sector going forward as ultimately this helps support society as a whole. It's concerning that such considerations appear to have been forgotten."

Bang Showbiz