Van Morrison Threatens Legal Action Over Lockdown

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Van Morrison is threatening legal action against the government of Northern Ireland over the six-week lockdown it imposed on Dec. 26.

The 75-year-old singer, who has been a vocal opponent of COVID-19 prevention measures, filed a complaint on Jan. 12 with Northern Ireland’s Department of Health about the prohibition on live music at indoor venues.

According to his lawyer, if Morrison does not receive a response, he will seek relief from the High Court. Joe Rice told RTE that Morrison, who will argue that the ban is not based on credible medical evidence, is acting “on behalf of the thousands of musicians, artists, venues and those involved in the live music industry.”

Rice said Morrison is “determined to ensure that, as we endeavour to emerge safely from this lockdown, artists and musicians will have a proper opportunity to play their part through live music to restore the cultural, social and economic wellbeing and success of our society.”

Last summer, Morrison came under fire for calling social distancing measures “pseudo-science.” He complained it was not “economically viable to do socially distanced gigs.” He has released four anti-lockdown songs, including “Stand and Deliver” with Eric Clapton.

In “No More Lockdown,” Morrison sings about “crooked facts” about the pandemic and “facist bullies” who have used prevention measures to “enslave” the public.

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