On 8 September 1979 a monument to the victims of the 'Betelgeuse' Whiddy Island disaster was unveiled in Bantry, Co. Cork.

Eight months earlier 50 people were killed when the French tanker, Betelgeuse exploded at the offshore jetty of the Whiddy Island Oil Terminal in West Cork. 

Following a procession of naval, army and Garda personnel, Minister for Labour Gene Fitzgerald laid a wreath at the monument. The memorial event was also attended by relatives of the dead who travelled from France and Britain. The victims included 42 French, 1 Britain and 7 Irish. A Dutch salvage diver was also killed during the salvage operation.

At the ceremony a cross of polished Wicklow granite, carved in the shape of a ship's mast, was unveiled at the Abbey Cemetery in Bantry.

The mute footage shown was part of a news report broadcast on 8 September, 1979.

Whiddy Island Disaster