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19th May 2024

Dedicated security guards & opening hours: Dublin to New York portal ‘reawakens’ under new restrictions

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We’re back(ish) baby

Dublin City Council have announced that the Dublin to New York portal has ‘reawakened’ following its closure last week.

In a statement released on the afternoon of Sunday, May 19, DCC said that the portal, which restarted as of 2pm today, will now operate under new time restrictions.

The Portal will have specific hours of operation for the coming weeks with the livestream running daily from 11am to 9pm in Dublin (6am to 4pm in New York).

The statement also says that the portals “are not meant to be touched or stepped upon” and that they have “taken steps to limit instances of people stepping on the Portal and holding phones up to the camera lens.”

It has been revealed that the Portals.org team (the organisers behind the installation) has “implemented a proximity-based solution”, meaning that “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.

Dublin to New York portal ‘reawakens’ under new restrictions

The New York side of the Portal will continue to have on-site security during operational hours, with fencing now installed and more “signage and spacing decals “to assist with crowd management and guide visitors to the optimal spots for interacting with the Portal.”

For the Dublin site, physical design features are being implemented to assist with crowd management. 

The art installation which links Dublin’s North Earl Street and New York’s Flatiron South Public Plaza attracted large crowds interacting with each other on either sides since it was erected at the start of the month.

However, a spate of incidents, including a woman being arrested in front of it, someone reportedly showing a picture of the 9/11 attack on their phone and a man mooning some unsuspecting New Yorkers, led to the council to step in.

A woman on the New York side also flashed the Portal, with the video subsequently going viral online.

The live feed to the Portal was shut off on Monday, May 13, when passers-by noticed that the live feed had been cut, however the operator of the portal said it was due to a “technical glitch” in the software.

DCC announced on Tuesday that changes were to be made, saying: “Unfortunately, we have been witnessing a very small minority of people engaged in inappropriate behaviour, which has been amplified through social media.”

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