In Their Thousands ‘make epic noise’ to win competition

Aidan McClafferty, Liam Kelly, Declan McClafferty and Ruairi Friel – In Their Thousands, Winners of the Guinness Arthur’s Day – Play On The Day National Competition, sponsored by Hot Press and 2fm

ONE OF Donegal’s hottest original music bands has won the grand final of ‘Guinness Arthur’s Day – Play On The Day’ competition.

In Their Thousands wowed the judging panel of industry heavyweights at Whelan’s in Dublin last night (Wednesday) to take the prize over stiff competition.


A full bus of fans travelled from the hills to support Fanad and Downings lads Ruairí Friel, Liam Kelly, Declan and Aidan McClafferty as they took to the stage at the famous venue.

The judges – Niall Stokes and Roisin Dwyer of Hot Press, Cormac Battle and Paddy McKenna of RTE 2fm and Shilpa Ganatra of The Star – deliberated long and hard but in the end there could be only one winner on the night.

Niall Stokes, Editor of Hot Press, said: “It was really tough, but In Their Thousands were absolutely brilliant.

“The feeling among the judges was that this is a band with huge international potential.

“They are superb musicians making a truly original and epic noise. All of the bands should be proud of reaching the final.

“I am thrilled that the quality was so exceptional tonight and my heart goes out to the bands that didn’t win.

“But In Their Thousands blew the judges away, which is all you can ever hope for.”


They have won a prize package including a full recording session with a senior Record Producer in RTÉ studios, and thousands of euro worth of top-of-the-range musical instruments, including equipment from Fender, Tanglewood Guitars, Premier Drums and Casio.

This is the second year in the row a Donegal band has won this prestigious competition following on from the 2011 success of Mojo Gogo.

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