Is Bodkin a Real Irish Town? Where is it Located?

Netflix’s comedy crime thriller show, ‘Bodkin,’ revolves around a series of mysterious disappearances that unravel in the eponymous town on the night of the Samhain festival. For 25 years, the case stays unsolved— until podcaster Gilbert, his researcher Emmy, and their reluctant investigative journalist companion, Dove, arrive in town to scrutinize the case for their true crime podcast. However, where Gilbert only hoped to find a compelling, incomplete story in the small town, Dove’s reckless curiosity sets the trio on a dangerous path as their investigation brings them closer and closer to the truth.

The show features the Irish small-town of Bodkin as a central element within its narrative. Thus, the town becomes instrumental within this mystery-filled storyline through its close-knit community and equally close-kept secrets. Consequently, it’s only natural for viewers to wonder whether or not Bodkin is a real place in Ireland.

Bodkin is Fictional Town Created in the West Cork Region of Ireland

Bodkin, the titular Irish town from Jez Scharf’s mystery show, is not a real place in Ireland. Instead, it is a fictionalized town created by the minds behind the show. Since the narrative that unfolds in the town on screen is similarly fictitious in nature, the creator was very deliberate about maintaining a distance from reality to affirm the story’s fabrication. On Netflix’s Tudum, Scharf discussed the same and said, “Not a real story, not a real place.”

“It’s a fake town, it’s a fake place. It’s all fake people. The mystery itself, we worked very hard to find something that is in no way adjacent to a real true crime story,” Scharf clarified. “The fictionality of it was very deliberate.” As such, the town of Bodkin remains a fictional element. Even so, it’s difficult to ignore the town’s ability to transport the viewers into the Irish small-town culture.

The same is a result of realistic filming practices used by the show, which was shot entirely on location. As such, while fans won’t be able to find Bodkin in the Irish country, other towns, villages, and counties across West Cork will provide an off-screen counterpart for the fictional place. Particularly, areas such as the Union Hall Village and its neighboring Glandore Village serve as real-life locations for the locality that makes up Bodkin town.

In a conversation with Tourism Ireland, Siobhan Cullen, the actress who portrays Dove, spoke about the decision to set up Bodkin in West Cork and said, “Union Hall makes the perfect Bodkin. It’s so stunning, and it encapsulates all of what people imagine about the beauty of Ireland. It’s all here— it’s such a stunning place.”

Likewise, Will Forte, who plays Gilbert, shared similar sentiments in a separate interview with Screen Rant. “Every [filming] location was just a delight to be in. I mean, we shot in Dublin and Wicklow for a while, and then we were down in a place called Union Hall in West Cork for a lot of it. It was stunning [shot] after stunning shot after stunning shot.”

Therefore, the show equips realistic filming locations to add authenticity to its fictionalized town. Furthermore, the addition of minor local cultural aspects, such as the recreational road bowling sport, Samhain festival practices, and the relevance of Irish pubs, adds further realism to the small town. Similarly, the cliquish yet secretive social culture within Bodkin enhances its small-town status— allowing people to believe it may have been a real spot for a true crime once. Nevertheless, the town is only one of the many fictional elements within the show.

Read More: Bodkin: Is the Netflix Show Inspired by Reality?