The country is presently in full lockdown as a result of escalating infection and hospitalization numbers, and the government is expected to extend the current “stay home” rules into March. However, Morrison – who described social distancing as “pseudo-science” and later released lockdown protest songs, including one with Eric Clapton – wants to change that.
He filed a document known as a pre-action protocol letter on Jan. 12, which gives the Department of Health 21 days to respond before actual court procedures can begin. Morrison’s lawyer, Sarah Symington, told Rolling Stone that the letter was “challenging the blanket ban of live music,” and that if the government department didn’t respond within the deadline, “we would issue proceedings immediately to the High Court.”
Another lawyer explained that Morrison planned to argue 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.”
Responding to Morrison’s description of the authorities as “fascist bullies” who were “making up crooked facts” to “enslave” the population, Northern Ireland’s health minister, Robin Swann, said in September that the country felt “disappointment” in the singer. “His words will give great comfort to the conspiracy theorists, the tin foil-hat brigade who crusade against masks and vaccines and think this is all a huge global plot to remove freedoms,” he noted.