Like many towns in Ireland, Westport in Co. Mayo was struggling economically, but an unlikely saviour has come forward in the form of cosmetic enhancements, more specifically, the production of Botox. Allergan – manufacturers of the anti-aging drug – first began trading in 1977, before Botox became so widely used, now it is fighting back against the recession and expanding throughout the west of Ireland.
Councillor Sean Staunton spoke to the Irish Times, explaining that the town did not have high hopes for the company when it initially arrived, and he said that Westport was ‘like a lot of towns on the west coast of Ireland, [it] was on its knees.’
The Botox produced by Allergan is used for muscle treatments as well as for facial lines and wrinkles, and the company are looking to expand business over the next five years, building their workforce by over a thousand people. The new research and development centre will also bring more jobs to the local area, to add to the thousands of people they are keeping in work with the production plant, the beauty salons, and the ten hotels situated in the town. Tourism is expected to boom in the coming years also, as holidaymakers travel to the coast for some pampering and relaxation.
Local hotel owner Joe Corcoran credits the Botox company with keeping the town alive; ‘There have only been two construction projects here in the last three years,’ he said, ‘a school and the Lidl supermarket, so these jobs will be very welcome.’