Dublin-New York portal reopens with time limits after launch marred by ‘inappropriate behaviour’

Dublin council praises ‘overwhelming majority’ of people enjoying work of art, which had to be shut down over offensive gestures and nudity

Shweta Sharma
Monday 20 May 2024 11:23 BST
Dubliners wave to New Yorkers through 'portal' connecting cities

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A livestream portal connecting New York and Dublin has reopened with new safety measures after it was shut down within a week over “inappropriate behaviour”.

The portal, which enables residents of the two cities to see and interact with each other as on a live video call, was opened earlier this month.

It was temporarily switched off on 14 May after some visitors were seen swearing, flashing body parts and mooning the camera.

After the portal was first launched, one Dubliner taunted the Americans with images of the Twin Towers on 9/11. Another woman was escorted away by the Irish police after she was seen grinding against the portal as others made rude gestures.

Now, the Dublin City Council is attempting to operate the portal again for 10 hours every day, between 11am and 9pm local time – that’s 6am to 4pm in New York.

The council said in a statement that people experienced a “sense of joy” after the portal was opened and it drew tens of thousands of visitors.

"The overwhelming majority of people who have visited the portal sculptures have experienced the sense of joy and connectedness that these works of public art invite people to have.”

A livestream portal connecting Dublin and New York was temporarily closed after some ‘inappropriate behaviour’ in the Irish capital
A livestream portal connecting Dublin and New York was temporarily closed after some ‘inappropriate behaviour’ in the Irish capital (PA)

As well as the time limits, the council added new technological safety features to the portal before reopening it.

"We have taken steps to limit instances of people stepping on the portal and holding phones up to the camera lens," it said in the statement.

“Now, if individuals step on the portal and obstruct the camera, it will trigger a blurring of the livestream for everyone on both sides of the Atlantic."

The Irish side of the portal is situated in north Dublin, facing O’Connell Street, while the American installation is on North Earl Street.

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