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Plasterer finds his recipe for success

A plasterer who lost his business in the recession has turned his life around by penning a cookery book.

Paul Callaghan battled with depression after his company folded in 2008 but found comfort in food.

The 34-year-old turned his back on a diet of breakfast rolls and began growing his own produce.

He changed his life by adapting a healthy lifestyle after borrowing books on gardening from the library.

His debut cookery book, Calso Cooks: Real Food Made Easy, hits the shelves across the country today.

He revealed: "In the years leading up to the recession in 2008 I had a very successful plastering business. I had my brother and a few guys working for me and had to turn down work on a weekly basis because demand was so high.

"But in 2008 the phone literally stopped ringing overnight and eight months later the work had ended."

Struggling to cope after losing his livelihood, Paul who is originally from Armagh but now lives in Clarecastle, slipped into a state of depression.

"As a result of that I got into a lot of debt and fell into depression. I was in a very dark place for about 18 months – the bills and debt letters were mounting and I was slipping into depression."

Paul then found a new reason to get up in the mornings when he began growing his own food.

He explained: "The house I had moved into had a good sized garden so I decided to start to grow my own. I'd always watched programs like River Cottage.

"Growing my own really brought out a brighter side in me and it became a reason to get out of bed in the mornings.

"I then found I'd a huge passion for cooking and created my blog, The Sustainable Larder, where I share tips and info about growing your own and the recipes that come from it."