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Flowers left mourning the temporary shut down of "The Portal". Rolling News

Tánaiste on the Portal: 'Would we say some fella let the class down when we're roaring laughing?'

The Tánaiste’s comments come after the Dublin portal was shut down following incidents of mooning, the displaying of a swastika and images of New York’s Twin Towers burning, as well as an arrest for ‘grinding’ against the sculpture.

TÁINISTE MICHEÁL MARTIN compared the inappropriate behaviour that led to the temporary shut down of infamous “The Portal” installation to the classroom.

The portal, which connects Dublin’s North Earl Street to New York’s Fifth Avenue via a 24/7 livestream, was shut down on Tuesday after a slew of “inappropriate behaviour”.

The behaviour included mooning New Yorkers, the holding of a swastika and images of New York’s Twin Towers burning, simulated drug taking, and the arrest of a woman for ‘grinding’ against the sculpture.

When asked about whether he felt the people of Dublin had let the rest of the country down, as Minister for Public Expenditure and local TD Paschal Donohoe had said earlier this week, the Tánaiste likened the behaviour to “hilarious activities” in the “classroom”.

“We’re a large population, a diverse population… I wish it didn’t happen,” he said at the launch of Fianna Fáil’s local election campaign earlier today. “It’s an interesting concept, the portal. People will be getting up to all sorts of pranks and stuff like that.

“We all behave different when you’re in your classroom, people are always doing different things in the classroom.

“I can recall some hilarious activities, and would we say some fella let the class down when we’re all roaring laughing?”

The Tánaiste’s comments come following Minister Donohoe’s condemnation of the widespread inappropriate behaviour reported at the portal. 

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

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

Founder of the company behind the portal, Lithuanian artist Benediktas Gylys appealed to the public to keep the portal family friendly.

“I think everyone should think of a seven-year-old child that is in New York that wants to experience and that wants to connect to Dublin and wave to people there,” he said, speaking to RTÉ in New York. 

Dublin City Council have said that they expect the portal to be switched back on later on this week. The installation is set to run until the autumn.

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