Boann, Goddess of the Boyne | Discover Boyne Valley Meath, Ireland

Boann, Goddess of the Boyne

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Boann (Bóinn) is the mythical goddess of the River Boyne, and of poetry, fertility and knowledge.

According to legend Boann created the Boyne. Though forbidden to by her husband, Nechtan, Boann approached the magical Well of Segais, which was surrounded by nine magic hazel-trees.  Hazelnuts were known to fall into the Well, where they were eaten by the speckled salmon (who, along with hazelnuts, also embody and represent wisdom in Irish mythology).

Boann challenged the power of the well by walking around it tuathal (counter-clockwise); this caused the waters to surge up violently and rush down to the sea, creating the Boyne. In this catastrophe, she was swept along in the rushing waters, and lost an arm, leg and eye, and ultimately her life, in the flood. 

In local lore, Newgrange was the home of Aengus óg and the Daghdha, the gods of the Tuatha Dé Danann. Newgrange is said to be the residence of Aengus óg. He was the son of Daghdha and the river goddess Bóann. 

Watch this video on the magical origins of the Boann and her famous river.

Bóinn: The River Goddess by Meath singer Róisín Ní Ghallóglaigh was composed in 2020 as part of the Songs for Our Children Project for Meath Cruinniú na nÓg. This project, curated by Aileen Lambert and Michael Fortune, and commissioned by Meath Arts Office facilitated the composition of newly composed traditional songs for children. 
Bóinn is about the Boyne River and tells of its history, mythology, geography and environmental importance. To accompany the song the Arts Office  commissioned an animated video which combines the visual aspects of the song with natural soundscapes and found-sounds in nature (recordings of the Boyne flowing and the nature heard around it) and follows the Goddess as she makes her way across the county from her source in Kildare to where she reaches the sea. 

The River Boyne

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