Van Morrison Starts Legal Action To Force Ireland Out Of Lockdown
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Van Morrison has initiated legal action in response to the Northern Irish government’s refusal to open live music venues as the coronavirus pandemic persists.
The country is currently under full lockdown as infection and hospitalization figures ballooned recently, with the government gearing to extend the “stay home” protocol up to March. Morrison has been known for his staunch position against social distancing, calling it a pseudoscience, along with releasing anti-lockdown songs, one in collaboration with Eric Clapton, is intending to make key changes once quarantine instructions are lifted.
The Irish rocker has filed a document known as a pre-action protocol letter last January 12, giving the Department of Health 21 days to respond before actual court procedures begin. Atty. Sarah Symington told Rolling Stone that the said letter was challenging the blanket ban of live music,” and if the government department didn’t respond within the said deadline, “we would issue proceedings immediately to the High Court.”
Joe Rice, another lawyer of Morrison’s, shared to RTE that the singer-songwriter “is determined to ensure that, as we endeavor 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.”
He added that he planned to contest that “the ban is unsustainable in law and not based on credible scientific or medical evidence,” and that the legal bid was “on behalf of the thousands of musicians, artists, venues and those involved in the live music industry.”
Northern Ireland’s Health Minister Robin Swann was disappointed after Morrison described authorities back in September of last year as “fascist bullies” who were bending facts to “enslave” the population. “His words will give great comfort to the conspiracy theorists, the tinfoil-hat brigade who crusade against masks and vaccines and think this is all a huge global plot to remove freedoms,” he said.