Donegal rockers win prize in prestigious competition

DONEGAL rockers In Their Thousands have got the nod from, among others, Tom Waits in the prestigious International Songwriting Competition.

In Their Thousands came second in the rock category of the award for the title track of their debut album, Acrasia.

There were almost 19,000 entries from 140 countries all over the world.


“The word ‘acrasia’ comes from Greek philosophy and essentially describes the state of knowing the right course of action but not following it, due to weakness of will,”songwriter Ruairí Friel told’s Aoife Kelly.

“I wrote the lyrics on the back of a napkin at Edinburgh airport one day and put it into a book I was reading. It summed up a lot of things I was feeling about the world at the time; how we all seem to be at the mercy of bad ideas and false information and how much easier it is to destroy than build. 

In Their Thousands was formed six years ago and the band has had several EP and chart releases but their debut album lands today, launching at The Grand Social tonight.

“It’s a double album really – it brings together a lot of material we’ve been working on for the last few years. It’s a 13 track album and most albums now only have eight tracks. We just decided to go for it,” says Ruairi, who reveals they managed to fund the album by reinvesting their earnings.

“We managed this time not to have to personally invest in it, not to have to seek funding from anyone else, so we’re standing alone, just scraping by.”

Among those judging the gilt-edged competition were Bastille and American artist Tom Waits.

“I knew that Tom Waits was involved and he would be quite inspirational in the world of songwriting and over the years I’ve had great respect for him. He doesn’t put his name to everything. He’s really avoided anything that used his work for advertising and I think he really has integrity in that way.”


‘Acrasia’ is the title track from In Their Thousands’ album, out now.


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