Honours for fallen police
Awards given at Walsh St memorial
TWO young policemen who gave their lives for the community in the shocking Walsh St shootings have been honoured for their courage, 30 years on from the ambush in South Yarra.
The families of constables Steven Tynan and Damian Eyre yesterday accepted awards of valour for the fallen officers during a memorial for the men.
The haunting memory of the Wednesday morning the young officers were gunned down on duty is still fresh in the minds of those who loved them and the police who served beside them. But Wendy Tynan said it was a “special” day and she felt her son, who died aged just 22, was with her as she, daughter Sue and son Paul accepted the posthumous award.
“I think of Steve and how he’d love it,” Ms Tynan said. “He’s always with us … just part of the family. He’s always on my shoulder.”
Constable Eyre’s father Frank, himself a career policeman, said no officer went to work hoping to earn an award.
“It’s a very significant thing in our family,” Mr Eyre said.
“An award as high as that — they don’t come easy.”
No one has ever been found guilty of the shootings, and there has long been calls for a coronial inquest. Experienced officers told how October 12, 1988 taught officers not to be “complacent” about the risks of the job.
But while a blue uniform could make them a target, it also unified the men and women in the “policing family” in times of sorrow.
Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said Victoria Police was committed to remembering the bravery and service of the officers.
“Both young men were much loved by their colleagues,” Mr Ashton said.
“They come here every year because they want to pay their respects and they want to remember. It’s one of our most important days, it’s a day of solemn remembrance.
“We wanted to make this a special year so making the valour awards available this year was an opportunity to do that.”