Residents of a Belfast care home say they are reveling in the chance to have a drink and a chat after a pub was opened in it to give them a lift after lockdown.

Our Lady's, an 86-bed home off the Falls Road, took two months to create the Giant's Foot pub.

Residents can have alcoholic or soft drinks, play darts, poker and roulette, listen to music and even watch specially laid-on horse racing.

Thomas Stewart, 85, and his wife Eileen were spending the afternoon enjoying a drink together.

"We're 62 years married and this is our first date in 18 years and I'm worried about her having too much wine," he said laughing.

He need not have worried, Eileen reassuring us that her chosen tipple was non-alcoholic.

Residents have always been able to have a drink in their rooms where appropriate, now they have somewhere to gather to enjoy it and each other's company.

"This is the best thing that has ever happened to this place," said resident Roisín Spence, a lifelong pioneer who was having a soft drink.

"It's a great outlet for people because before this was here we didn't really have any meeting place. This is going to liven things up a bit."

The home manager said it had been a difficult 19 months over Covid, as in many other care facilities, and now they wanted to "bring the joy back".

"They haven't been out as much, they haven't been seeing their families as much and that all has an impact on residents," said Isabel Neves.

"We're trying to improve that and make their life a bit more joyful and it makes you speechless when you get here and see them all so happy."

As the drink is given out not sold, the bar did not need a licence.

The alcohol is kept under lock and key and provided under strict supervision and in line with medical advice.