Ian Paisley insists that Health Minister Robin Swann is not a threat.
Northern Ireland’s Health Minister, Robin Swann, is not harmful, according to DUP MP Ian Paisley.
After being chastised for joining Sir Van Morrison in a verbal attack on Mr Swann following the cancellation of a live show in Belfast at the last minute, Mr Paisley issued a statement on Friday evening.
Mr Swann’s Ulster Unionist Party leader Doug Beattie called it “disgusting.”
Mr Paisley issued a statement on Friday evening urging that the incident not be “blown out of proportion.”
“The live music industry was devastated by last night’s event. I was summoned to the stage and attempted to bring the situation to an end by mentioning some of Van’s music. “What was satire, comedy, banter, and sarcasm should not be exaggerated,” he remarked.
“I don’t feel Robin is in any way hazardous. That comment’s parody and sarcasm is evident, in my opinion! Last year, the Department of Health declared a song to be harmful, and I believe Van has the right to mock that. All of these issues have a balance, and we get them right sometimes and wrong other times.
“We all have the right to our own opinions on how the lockdown was handled. As with everything, I’m sure some will take offense, but none was intended by me.”
Sir Van was joined by Mr Paisley at the Europa Hotel, where he chastised Mr Swann for canceling concerts in Belfast last week.
The musician’s four scheduled performances at the hotel were canceled at the last minute on Thursday due to Covid limits on live music.
The hotel’s management blamed the late notice on Stormont politicians’ uncertainty, assuming they had been given permission to proceed.
The evening began with a dinner before a video of the Belfast singer-last songwriter’s performance was shown.
Sir Van, a vocal opponent of Covid restrictions, stepped to the platform to speak. (This is a brief piece.)