Daughter’s distress at book claims about father’s murder

UUP leader Mike Nesbitt with Gillian McFaul, Mavis McFaul and Councillor Mary Hamilton.
UUP leader Mike Nesbitt with Gillian McFaul, Mavis McFaul and Councillor Mary Hamilton.

The daughter of a man murdered by the Real IRA in Londonderry is angry with the author of a book who has claimed to reveal details about her father’s death.

David Caldwell, 51, was killed by a bomb hidden in a lunchbox at a territorial army base in 2002.

A new book, entitled ‘Charlie One’ and written under the false name ‘Sean Hartnett’ by an author claiming to have been a British soldier in a covert army intelligence unit, contains details that suggest the army could have saved Mr Caldwell’s life.

David Caldwell’s daughter, Gillian McFaul, said she is angry with the author for witholding the information for so long. She said she does not know whether the claims about her father’s murder are true.

“It’s hard not to believe it because the police haven’t told us much either,” she said. “We have mixed emotions about it.

“What we want is for the police to provide us with more information because at least that way we will know whether it is true or not. It was absolutely terrible when it happened. I lost my whole world. I was 14 and I was my father’s blue eyed girl and for somebody to say, after all this time, that maybe they could have saved his life is just terrible.

“I got a phone call two days before the book was coming out to let me know about it. It has opened it all up again. I am angry with the person who wrote this book because he could have said all that a long time ago. I was 14 then and I am 28 now. He never told me anything about it - he sat there and told nobody for all that time and then put it in this book.

“I want the police to tell me more about what they know. It would settle my mind to hear that, to set the story straight. I would like to see the police question him because he must know more about it.”

DUP MP Gregory Campbell has raised the matter with Chief Constable George Hamilton. He said: “Having met with the Caldwell family in the past fortnight, and having written to the Chief Constable George Hamilton at that time, I, and more importantly, the family, are awaiting a response from the police. I trust there will be a thorough investigation into the allegations and an accurate account given to them of what happened. The Caldwell family deserve justice and openness regarding this renewed onslaught into their grief.”

UUP MLA Mike Nesbitt has also raised the issue with the Chief Constable and urged Mr Hamilton to “do all you can to ensure the PSNI offers Gillian and (his partner) Mavis the certainty and consequent comfort they seek”.