With the football World Cup in full swing a replica sports bar has opened in a Carrickfergus care home.
The Albert Arms is located in Carrickfergus Manor, which provides care for older people, including those living with dementia.
The themed room is decorated with football, ice hockey and other sporting memorabilia for residents to relax and unwind in.
The grand opening was attended by representatives of Linfield Football Club, Belfast Giants, Carrickfergus Rugby Club and the Deputy Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Cheryl Johnston.
James Lunn, who is a member of staff at the home, said: “At Carrickfergus Manor we realise the importance of our residents keeping a connection with the community. Because of this we designed a replica sports bar for our residents to sit and watch the sports and have a ‘cold one’.
“It’s called the Albert Arms because our maintenance man Albert was the first ever employee of Carrickfergus Manor.”
The opening was attended by the head coach of the Belfast Giants, Adam Keefe and goalkeeper Andrew Dickson. There was a further connection with the Giants via a venue popular with sports fans at the Odyssey Pavilion, Belfast.
Newtownabbey man James explained: “We had the Rockies sports bar owner, Jim Graves, there, who has supported us in the opening of the bar and has helped us get it going and would still be an ongoing connection for us.”
Also present were Linfield FC directors Drew McCoubrey and Jonathan Lamont. The Windsor Park club has announced on its website a partnership with the home which will see a number of tickets made available free of charge on a regular basis for carers and residents to attend league games.
The link up came about after Carrickfergus Manor advised Linfield of a number of residents who have identified themselves as supporters and who would benefit from supervised visits to Windsor Park.
On behalf of Carrickfergus Manor, James said: I am very grateful for the support of Linfield FC and I can’t wait to see the positive effects the partnership will have in the very near future.”