Graham Clifford: Met police band together for greening of the guard
As he paraded down New York's Seventh Avenue, Police Constable Jim Noonan from Cork looked around him. It was March 2002 and the first St Patrick's Day Parade in the city after 9/11. Canadian Mounties wore their shamrock proudly as did law enforcement officers from the NYPD, from Boston, Chicago and other American cities.
For Jim, the penny dropped. Dressed in full Metropolitan police uniform, he decided to research the possibility of establishing the force's first Emerald Society on his return to London.
"In 2002, the time wasn't right politically," he tells me.