Just read this article and got goosebumps.
Wow. Good on ya, Cameron.
Northern Ireland is [probably] where several relatives on both sides of my family came from. While there for three weeks in 1995, it felt like home. (I believe in what some Native Americans/American Indians call blood memories; pieces of memory passed down through our DNA. Not scientific at all. Don't care.)
Being a Libra, conflicts both personal and beyond are very disturbing to me, and I'm not a very political person. But this stuff in N.I. gets me going and when someone who's English apologizes to the Irish, well, that's huge in my book.
Granted, apologizing is not asking for forgiveness, but it's a start. Akin to the first step of fixing a problem is admitting there is a problem.
The former cardinal of Ireland, Cahal Daly, did ask for forgiveness.
"In January 1995, he made his own striking gesture to the cause of reconciliation between Britain and Ireland. Invited to become the first Irish Catholic Church leader to speak from the pulpit of Canterbury Cathedral since the Reformation, he used the occasion to ask the British people for forgiveness for the wrongs and hurts inflicted upon them by the Irish people." http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/0101/breaking2.html
That is an amazing thing. See what he did there? So disarming. So humble. It made me want to meet him (and I did.).
I have a friend who says forgiveness is FOR-GIVING. It's a gift that can set people free. Really. I don't mean that in a churchy way.
Maybe what the world needs more of is not love, but forgiveness.