Boann, also known as Boand, Boin, or Boinne, was thought to be the daughter of Delbáeth, a leader of the Tuatha Dé Danann. She is the goddess of the beautiful Boyne River, which rises in Kildare and winds lazily through counties Offaly, Meath, and Louth before flowing into the Irish sea. Boann is also the goddess of fertility, knowledge, and poetry, and according to myth, drinking water from the river Boyne during the month of June will see you blessed with the gift of poetry, although we would strongly advise boiling it first! Legend has it that Boann herself actually created the Boyne River, bringing it forth from the magical Well of Segais (which is where one could have originally found the Salmon of Knowledge). Sadly, she drowned in the ensuing flood of water, along with her poor little dog, Dabilla.
Boann is one of the three goddesses with whom the Dagda mated during the Samhain festival, the other two being the triple goddess, Morrigan, and Indech, the daughter and namesake of a great Fomorian warrior. The coupling between the Dagda and these three women is one of the reasons that Samhain was thought to be the best time to fall pregnant, as it was considered such a fertile time of year among the ancient celts.
When Boann fell pregnant with the Dagda’s child, Aengus, they needed to conceal her pregnancy from Boann’s husband, a Celtic god and one of the Tuatha Dé Danann. To do this the Dagda stopped the sun in the sky, holding it still for the nine months that Boann carried Aengus inside her. This stopped time from passing for the rest of the world and meant that Boann’s pregnancy lasted for just one day, so her husband never knew. The child Aengus is said to have been born in Newgrange itself, where his mother lived, and he grew to become the Celtic god of love.