Homeless man begging but being ignored by passers-by in central Dublin (Simon Roughneen)

Dublin City Council has temporarily disabled a new “portal” after people in the Irish capital held up phones showing 9/11 footage to the structure’s camera as it broadcast live to New York.

Citing “inappropriate behaviour,” the council said it would implement “technical solutions” at the portal, which was installed only on May 8. Viewers in New York, which hosts a portal linked to Dublin, complained not only of being subjected to 9-11 footage, but of people mooning at and “grinding” against the Dublin portal, while others in view appeared to be drunk or taking drugs.

Dublin’s portal was placed in the city center, giving a view of part of O’Connell Street, Europe’s widest thoroughfare, while New York’s was put up at Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and 23rd Street, next to the landmark Flatiron Building.

The structures are sculptured so-called street art, containing a screen and a camera. They were to remain connected until autumn this year, while Dublin was to be linked in the meantime to portals in Brazil, Lithuania and Poland, homelands of tens of thousands of recent emigrants to Ireland.

The portal website described Dublin, where street violence last year prompted the US embassy to warn tourists to be careful while visiting, as “a beacon of innovation and charm.” Dublin has more recently seen hundreds of refugees and migrants set up tent “shanty towns” in prominent locations, including along a canal popular with walkers and on streets close to government buildings.

Dublin and New York have a history of family ties, in large part because of high levels of emigration from Ireland throughout the 19th century, when it was ruled by Britain, as well as in the 1950’s and 1980’s after the establishment of an Irish state.

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