An inside view of the Botox factory in Westport, Ireland

million bottles of Botox
and Botox cosmetic has
got out of westport

When this murder material arrives with its entourage in Westport, an undoubtedly small amount of saline is combined. Now a liquid is transferred to a "filling room" where the product is sterilized and dispersed in glass bottles. These ampoules then go to a drying chamber, where the solution is reduced to a minimum amount of dried product at the bottom of the glass. (In the end, a physician will put saline back into the bottle to create an injectable fluid.) It is a visual inspection of each vial before the vials are labeled, packaged in boxes and sent to storage rooms (5 to 23 degrees Fahrenheit cold) where they are waiting to be sent to their final destination. (No more armed guards at this time, FedEx is good.) In the two minutes before requesting leaving one of these painfully free rooms, I see two full pallets marked for Brazil, one for Argentina, about four boxes for Qatar, and two which is Malta-bound. Botox from Westport travels to 96 countries around the world.

But not much of it will be local. Boilers I encounter here – by Eileen and Fiona, Siobhan and Aidan – are very mobile. Nobody can point me to a dermatologist who manages Botox in Westport. Perhaps locals like Wall do like: Cosmetic Botox is for actors. Celebrities. Not ordinary people from a clean city in County Mayo.

Regular people like lab worker Annette Enright, doctoral student in regenerative medicine who assesses Botox for strength. (Allergan thought about doing a test using cell cultures instead of mice and using this method internally since 2011.) She is also a competitive deep-sea fisherman and a master of Allergans Sea Fishing Society.

Or Nóirín Moran, a supervisor in the analytical and technical laboratory that tests Botox for sterility and moisture. She is also a star of County Mayo's female Gaelic football team. (Gaelic football is a cross between football and rugby and often involves a lot of mud and shoving, but no pillows.)

Or Aidan O & # 39; Shea, who works in the supply chain. He is also a Gaelic football celebrity; As far as I can tell, he is to Westport what Tom Brady is to Boston (although he makes Tom look a little homely for the record).

Or Liam Friel, a 38-year-old veteran and factory manager and a third-generation poet.

Many who work at the Botox facility, such as Browne-Kilbane, are also second or third generation employees. And Friel, who first saw his wife in these halls, estimates that there are about 200 couples who met on this campus. I ask Jackie Gray, who works in the supply chain, if she has a family member here: "My sister, my sister's husband and some cousins."

Botox is a flourishing company. It has been 30 years since the FDA was approved (for the treatment of eye spasm and crossed eyes). So far, more than 80 million ampoules of Botox (for both therapeutic and cosmetic use) have emerged from Westport. There are now two other botulinum toxins for aesthetic use (Dysport and Xeomin), but some report that Botox still has nearly 70 percent of the market share. This success has kept Westport alive when many other similar cities do not. "The bottom falls out of rural Irish cities," Wall says. "People leave to go to the big cities, and these cities are going to stand still, as Bono would say. Some close pretty much." But Westport continues to be fluid, uneven.

Climb Croagh Patrick, the pilgrimages, and you will have a view of Clew Bay, dotted with 365 islands, one for each day of the year, the locals tell me. In addition to that, the Atlantic is. If you subscribe to the Celtic mythology, somewhere outside of these western Irish seas, there is no "land of youth". In this second world, nobody will ever be old, and nothing will disappear. It's like the people who know about an elixir who can defy the time. Imagine that.