Notes to Cork project spreads a little kindness

Al Dalton decided to design and display a series of positive messages on empty billboards across Cork city, to spread some kindness during lockdown. We find out what he's up to now in our Person to Person feature series
Notes to Cork project spreads a little kindness

Al Dalton of Notes to Cork.

TELL us about yourself; 

My name is Al Dalton. I am managing director of Notes to Cork, a new creative agency that I have set up in Cork. I am also co-artistic director of theatre company ALSA Productions with Sadhbh Barrett Coakley.

I studied Theatre and Drama Studies in CIT Cork School of Music and graduated in 2016 with a first class honours degree. I met Sadhbh in my first year of college and we have been together ever since, shortly after graduating we set up our theatre company. We also both work as freelancers in the Arts in a variety of roles and have worked on shows all over Ireland and in the UK.

Early last year I took over the family business Poster Displays Ltd after the passing of my aunt Breda Dalton. Poster Displays supplies outdoor billboard advertising around Cork city and suburbs. It has been a whirlwind year getting my head around the business and during lockdown I made the bold step to restructure the business and rebrand as ‘Notes to Cork’. I’m currently refurbishing our new workspace on Douglas st.

Where were you born?

I was born in the Victoria Hospital, now the South Infirmary.

Where do you live?

live in Rochestown (but a proud Ballinlough boy!)


The Dalton side of my family is quite small, just me, my Mum and my two uncles. I grew up as an only child but have two (much younger) half brothers who live in Oslo, Norway.

Best friend?

I am lucky in that I have many close friends but I would have to say my fiance Sadhbh would be my best friend. She’s an unbelievable person and is the complete opposite of me in every way. We have the most amazing conversations and our personalities complement each other very well!

Earliest childhood memory?

My earliest childhood memories would be spending time in my family’s cottage down in Oysterhaven, Co.Cork, more than likely wedged in a wetsuit and heading out to sea with my aunt and uncle in their boat.

Person you most admire? 

I admire those who stand up against adversity. Those who put others ahead of themselves in the interest of others. I think the work that Stevie G and the Cork Migrant Centre are doing is amazing.

Person who most irritates you?

Donald Trump popped straight into my head when I read that question first, but i think it's more what he symbolises, people who are selfish, inconsiderate and antagonistic.

Who would you like to see as Minister for Finance and why?

There is a fantastic actor/accountant in Dublin called Peter Daly who has done unbelievable work, free of charge, on behalf of those working in the Arts post lockdown, petitioning for clarity and transparency from the government so that others could receive the pandemic unemployment payment fairly. I think he would be good in that role.

Where was your most memorable holiday?

Me and my mum spent years holidaying down around West Cork in Owenahincha and Rosscarbery during my childhood. I would give anything to be on the beach, post surf, with a towel wrapped around my legs and munching on an egg salad sandwich.

Favourite TV programme?

I’m a big Netflix fan and am mad about documentaries. ‘Last Chance U’ is a great documentary series.

Favourite radio show?

I listen to the radio constantly. First thing I do in the morning is turn it on. The Dermot and Dave Show on Today FM are always entertaining.

Your signature dish if cooking?

I make a mean Steak and Chips.

Favourite restaurant?

Huge fan of the Quay Co Op on Sullivan's Quay.

Last book you read?

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy.

Best book you read?

Song of Spider-Man: The Inside Story of the Most Controversial Musical in Broadway History by Glen Berger.

Last album/CD/download you bought?

Hozier’s EP Nina Cried Power.

Favourite song?

My Number by Foals.

One person you would like to see in concert?

I saw Gregory Porter at the Jazz Festival 2012 in the Everyman with my aunt Breda. I would give anything to see him live again.

Do you have a pet?

I have two dogs. They’re both rescues, Rua (jack russel terrier) and Loah (border collie).

Morning person or night owl?

I’m a morning person.

Your proudest moment?

Proposing to Sadhbh.

Spendthrift or saver?


Name one thing you would improve in your area in which you live?

I am lucky that where I live is very nice. A small independent coffee shop in walking distance would be a lovely bonus. Love good coffee - Filter on George’s Quay know me well!

What makes you happy?

The Sea and surfing. Saltwater on the skin always allows me to recalibrate and salty eyebrows post surf reminds me of why I’m alive.

How would you like to be remembered?

As genuine, honest and compassionate.

What else are you up to at the moment?

Currently finishing off the last few details in the new workspace and signing off on the new branding for Notes to Cork. Myself and Sadhbh have also just submitted an application for Arts Council funding for a new play that we hope to develop in Cork next year. Other than that planning my next date with the Sea.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Echo 130Echo 130

Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more