Those responsible for temporary closure of Dublin portal have ‘let us all down’

those responsible for temporary closure of dublin portal have ‘let us all down’

People engaged in inappropriate behaviour that led to a livestream portal between Dublin and New York being temporarily switched off have “let us all down”, Paschal Donohoe has said.

The video screen portal that links the capital and New York was paused as efforts continue to find solutions to address the problems in front of the installation.

Dublin City Council said a “preferred solution” involving blurring proved to be unsatisfactory and added that the portal would be switched off at 10pm on Tuesday.

The council said a small minority of people have engaged in “inappropriate behaviour” which has been amplified on social media, and included people flashing body parts and displaying offensive images.

The livestreaming portal was unveiled last week and gives New York viewers a glimpse of Dublin’s O’Connell Street, while Irish viewers can see live images of people passing through North Earl Street.

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe said that while only a small number of people have been engaged in inappropriate behaviour, it is having an impact.

He also rejected suggestions that those involved came from the north inner parts of the city.

“I don’t accept the premise that everybody who was involved in that behaviour came from the north inner city. That is an assumption that I don’t accept,” he said.

“I was delighted to see the portal located off the main street of our capital city.

“I feel that the very small number of people who have been involved in inappropriate behaviour have let us all down.

“But you only have to see the numbers of people coming to Dublin at the moment to spend their summer holidays here to know that the standing of Dublin in the eyes of the rest of the world is still really really high.

“I hope the portal not only stays in Dublin, but that it stays where it is.

“I hope the small number of people that are letting the rest of us down with that behaviour realises the impact it is having and that we can look at ways from a technology perspective that that kind of behaviour is diminished.

“All that being said, I think anybody standing at the other side of the portal, very early in the morning or very late at night, not everybody always conducts themselves in the way you would want.

“I think it is a really interesting innovation and I am really interested in seeing the number of people talking about portal and I am sure for the vast majority of people, it was good to look at and good to participate in.”

The portal was temporarily closed earlier this week as changes in how the visual link operates were introduced.

A new city council statement on Tuesday night said: “The team behind the portal art sculpture, Portals.org, has been investigating possible technical solutions to inappropriate behaviour by a small minority of people in front of the portal.

“Unfortunately the preferred solution, which would have involved blurring, was not satisfactory.

“As a result the portal will be switched off at 10pm tonight and the team at Portals.org have told us they expect it will be switched back on later this week.

“We are delighted by how many people have been enjoying the portal since it was launched last week.

“It has become a global phenomenon and it is important to note that the overwhelming majority of people interacting with the Dublin portal have behaved appropriately.”

Videos on social media have shown some on the Irish side flashing body parts, displaying swear words on phone screens and showing images of the Twin Towers on 9/11.

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