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Northern Ireland official suing Van Morrison over COVID criticism

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LONDON (AP) — 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. The defamation suit relates to three incidents in which Morrison criticized Northern Ireland Health Minister Robin Swann, calling him “a fraud” and “very dangerous.” Swann’s lawyer, Paul Tweed, said proceedings “are at an advanced stage with an anticipated hearing date early in 2022.”

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.”

 

Source: AP – All contents copyright 2021 Associated Press.  All rights reserved.

 

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