Full Walsh St in­quest vi­tal

Herald Sun - - OPINION -

THE Walsh St mur­ders shocked Vic­to­ria like few other crimes ever have.

The cold-blooded am­bush and ex­e­cu­tion of two po­lice con­sta­bles was not only the heinous tak­ing of two in­no­cent young lives.

The mur­ders of Steven Ty­nan, 22 and Damian Eyre, 20, in Walsh St, South Yarra on Oc­to­ber 12, 1988, was an at­tack on the state and on all those who are charged with up­hold­ing the law and pro­tect­ing the pub­lic. It was a cal­lous af­front to civil so­ci­ety.

Yes­ter­day, at a solemn cer­e­mony at Prahran Po­lice Sta­tion both Steven and Damian were for­mally ac­knowl­edged with post­hu­mous Val­our Awards, pre­sented to the fam­i­lies of each men.

Cut down in the line of duty, lured to their deaths with a re­port of an aban­doned car, both of­fi­cers were mur­dered not for who they were as in­di­vid­u­als, but for the uni­form they wore.

As in­di­vid­u­als, both were full of prom­ise and hope, at the start of their adult lives and em­bark­ing on ca­reers in the ser­vice of oth­ers.

It has now been 30 years since that aw­ful crime.

But time has not healed the wounds and the trauma that re­mains is in­tensely per­sonal for the Ty­nan and Eyre fam­i­lies. In­deed, the scars re­main deep and hearts are still heavy in the force as a whole.

For­mer po­lice­man Frank Eyre was 53 when he lost his son. Now 83, three decades later, he has not given up hope of a for­mal find­ing nam­ing those who mur­dered Damian and Steven. As Mr Eyre re­counted to the

Her­ald Sun yes­ter­day, his son was a proud and pro­fes­sional mem­ber from a fam­ily line of po­lice of­fi­cers.

Damian’s fi­nal chat with his mother Carmel the night be­fore he died, when he phoned to ask for a recipe, re­mains a cher­ished mo­ment.

“If ev­ery­body grew to be­come more like he was, this would be a magic world to live in,” Mr Eyre said.

Four men were tried for the con­sta­bles’ mur­der but were ac­quit­ted in 1991 and no one has been con­victed of the killings.

The names of Jedd Houghton, Vic­tor Peirce, Peter McEvoy, Trevor Pet­tingill, An­thony Leigh Far­rell and Gary Ab­dal­lah were linked to the out­rage. Peirce’s for­mer wife, Wendy, who was jailed for per­jury af­ter dou­bling back on a com­mit­ment to tes­tify, un­wound the pros­e­cu­tion case.

Yes­ter­day, Chief Com­mis­sioner Gra­ham Ash­ton said po­lice were com­mit­ted to con­tin­u­ing to hon­our the sac­ri­fice of both con­sta­bles. “We who are left have an obli­ga­tion to en­sure the mem­o­ries of these young men are never erased,” he said.

Both Mr Eyre and the Po­lice As­so­ci­a­tion have called for a coro­nial in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the mur­ders.

Even now, so many years later, con­sta­bles Eyre and Ty­nan de­serve that, and so do their fam­i­lies.

The Walsh St mur­der­ers and con­spir­a­tors, in their at­tack against the state, must be pur­sued to full con­clu­sion with for­mal find­ings.

Jus­tice, even de­layed, is vi­tal.


Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.