The Tanaiste has condemned the violence which happened in the North last night over a decision to restrict the flying of the Union flag at Belfast City Hall.
Last night the offices of the non-sectarian Alliance Party were torched while bottles and missiles were thrown at police officers in the town of Carrickfergus.
Eamon Gilmore says the violence last night was a throw-back to dark days in the past and will be resisted by those committed to reconciliation in Northern Ireland.
The Foreign Affairs Minister says the Irish government will do all in its power to support the political leaders in the North.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has called the actions of those involved 'shameful'.
Chief Constable Matt Baggott said "Their actions have brought shame on their communities and they have put innocent people's lives at risk, particularly at this busy time of year when towns and city centres are full of families shopping for Christmas".
"The mob violence and the intimidation we have seen in the past few days is not acceptable and there can be no excuses for it".
"It is an outrage to have democratic parties intimidated and burned out simply because they took a democratic decision. It is wrong" he added.
The First Minister of Northern Ireland Peter Robinson said there was "no excuse" for violence.
"Those who riot and engage in violent attacks do a disservice to the flag they claim to represent" Robinson said.
"Such activities must stop immediately and must be condemned without qualification by everyone in the community".
"This is a time for calm and for people to channel their energies into democratic activities and politics. Homes, offices and individuals being attacked far from aiding any cause only damage and detract. Such criminal behaviour also distracts from the real debate" he added.