Van Morrison could be stripped of Freedom of Belfast award over anti-lockdown songs

Van Morrison could be stripped of Freedom of Belfast award over anti-lockdown songs

BELFAST CITY Council may revoke Van Morrison’s freedom of the city following the musician’s decision to release three new anti-lockdown songs. 

The Bloomfield-born singer sparked controversy and criticism this week after taking aim at the UK government in a series of tracks protesting coronavirus restrictions. 

On one song, Van Morrison can be heard claiming scientists as “making up crooked facts” while another sees him brand the authorities “fascist bullies”. 

The songs have been condemned by Northern Ireland’s health minister Robin Swann. 

“I don’t know where he gets his facts," he told the BBC. 

“I know where the emotions are on this, but I will say that sort of messaging is dangerous. 

“Our messaging is about saving lives. 

“If Van wanted to sing a song about saving lives, then that would be more in keeping with where we are at the minute.” 

Van Morrison (left) and Donal Lunny (right)

Belfast City councillor Emmet McDonough-Brown has called on the local authority to revoke the honour handed to Van Morrison back in 2013 in recognition of his achievements. 

“Van Morrison was given the freedom of Belfast, the highest honour the city can bestow,” McDonough-Brown said. 

“His most recent lyrics undermine the guidance in place to protect lives and are ignorant of established science as we grapple with Covid-19. 

So I’ve asked Belfast City Council to consider revoking it.” 

He added: “I think we should withdraw the endorsement. 

“He remains free to say whatever he wants.” 

The 75-year-old musician has been an outspoken opponent of the coronavirus restrictions. 

In an open letter to fans, he previously hit out at the “pseudo-science” of socially distanced gigs.