Concerns raised about army and RIRA murder

DUP and UUP representatives have called on the Chief Constable to probe claims that undercover soldiers could have saved a former UDR soldier killed by the Real IRA in Londonderry in 2002.
PSNI Chief Constable George HamiltonPSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton
PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton

David Caldwell died after picking up a lunch box packed with explosives at a TA base in the Waterside in 2002. Mr Caldwell, a 51-year-old father of four, had been involved in refurbishing facilities at Caw camp.

A new book called ‘Charlie One’ which claims to be the account of a Cork man who joined the British army and worked in a surveillance team in Londonderry, claims that the army could have saved Mr Caldwell’s life.

It is written under the pen name of Sean Hartnett.

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UUP leader Mike Nesbitt met today with the daughter and partner of Mr Caldwell, Gillian McFaul and Mavis McFaul, and then wrote to the Chief Constable George Hamilton asking for the murder case to be reopened.

The MLA told Mr Hamilton that in Chapter 15 of the book - titled “Deadly Dilemma” - the author claims he was part of a surveillance unit that could have tailed the bombers and by extension, saved David Caldwell’s life.

“Unsurprisingly, Gillian and Mavis feel re-traumatised by these allegations and now find themselves in the worst possible position, in that there is now a suggestion David’s life could have been saved, but no facts to prove or disprove the notion,” Mr Nesbitt wrote to Mr Hamilton.

“Gillian contacted Strand Road PSNI and tells me she has since spoken to detectives in the hope of securing some clarity. However, she reports that the officers told her they cannot help unless and until the case is re-opened.”

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On that basis he asked Mr Hamilton to re-open the case and “otherwise do all you can to ensure the PSNI offers Gillian and Mavis the certainty and consequent comfort they seek”.

East Londonderry DUP MP Gregory Campbell said the The Caldwell family were given no prior notice of the book’s publication, all of which has led to “a deep sense of anger and their demand for a fresh investigation”.

Having met with the Caldwell family in the past fortnight and then having written to the Chief Constable George Hamilton, Mr Campbell said they were waiting for a response from police.

“I trust there will be a thorough investigation into the allegations and an accurate account given to them of what happened,” the MP said.

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“Whilst it can be difficult to substantiate such claims it is vital that the family can have confidence there has been a proper investigation given the allegation that Mr Caldwell’s murder could have been prevented.

“Having endured the loss of their husband and father, the Caldwell family deserve justice and openness regarding this renewed onslaught into their grief.”