Eddie was born in Ireland, Eddie came to Britain with his parents as a boy. Bright and energetic, he couldn't wait to join the police force and when he did, he loved his job, priding himself on being an honest copper. However Eddie encountered corrupt practices in the force, so he took early retirement and decided to start afresh in Walford.
Eddie arrives in Walford in July 1990, as the new landlord of The Queen Victoria public house, which he buys from Frank Butcher. He is a serious minded landlord, far different from his predecessors Den Watts and Frank Butcher. Not everyone takes to him, particularly when they discover his prior profession. Eddie doesn't really have any real friends in Albert Square, but his father John, often turns up in Walford to keep his son company. Whilst being landlord at the pub, Eddie rents a room to his barmaid Sharon Watts. Although he never approves of her relationship with the local thug, Grant Mitchell, and this often makes things awkward between the pair.
Eddie never married as a policeman, however, in Walford, he decides he needs a mate. He patiently pursues Kathy Beale, but she sees him kissing Eibhlin O'Donnell, who is his former girlfriend visiting from Ireland. Kathy refuses to accept his explanations and so their lukewarm romance ends. In April 1991, when Sharon seems to be opening her heart to him and is fed up with Grant, he rashly offers himself as a replacement, but is rejected. When Grant finds out, he beats him up so badly that he is hospitalised and needs brain surgery. Whilst recovering, he receives another visit from Eibhlin. He ends up proposing marriage and she accepts.
Eddie cannot forgive Grant for his violent assault and so he contacts an old police colleague to check up on Grant's dodgy dealings. However, Sharon discovers what is going on and manages to remove some dodgy packages from Grant's garage before the police arrive. Eddie is furious, and is even more enraged when he discovers that she'd agreed to marry Grant, so he sacks her. Although Sharon successfully sues him for unfair dismissal, Eddie refuses to give her job back to her. In August 1991 Eibhlin moves in with Eddie. Meanwhile, Eddie begins coaching Clyde Tavernier in boxing and that same month he is approached by an old friend, who is coaching Clyde's upcoming opponent. He and Eddie try to bribe Clyde to purposefully lose the fight in a betting scam, which causes a blazing row between Clyde and Eddie. Grant's rage towards Eddie also resurfaces when he discovers that it was he who had tipped him off to the police about his shady dealings. This further alienates the community and it seems that everyone in Walford has something against Eddie.
In September 1991, while Eddie is taking his pet poodle, Roly, for an evening walk he is stabbed to death. Clyde Tavernier discovers his bloody body in the Square, and after foolishly picking up the murder weapon, he flees in panic. Unfortunately for Clyde, there is a witness who had seen him standing over Eddie's body and fleeing the scene — Nick Cotton. Clyde is arrested for Eddie's murder and imprisoned. However, a second witness, Joe Wallace, later comes forward to attest that he had seen Nick Cotton in the vicinity on the night of the murder. It turns out that Nick was attempting a robbery when Eddie saw him, and in order to silence him, Nick stabbed him. Clyde is released and Nick is arrested for the murder, but surprisingly he is found 'not guilty' at the trial in 1993, as there is not enough evidence to convict.