In 1965 the British and Irish Steam Packet Co Ltd (B&I) was bought by the Irish government and set up as a new semi-State body with instructions to make a profit. But how are they going to do this and what changes need to be made?

'Discovery' explores the Dublin docklands and meets the people that work there, from the chairman of B&I to a casual docker employed under the 'button system'.

Reporter Brian Cleeve meets two Dublin dockers, who describe their working conditions. One works under the 'register system' and the other under the 'button system' of employment. The register system means that the docker gets paid a basic wage even if there is no work. However under the button system conditions are not so good. The Chairman of the B&I talks to Brian Cleeve about the change in the pattern of operations at the company and acknowledges the need for a charter for dockers. 

This report includes mute footage of cattle being herded on board a ship. Brian Cleeve boards the 'Leinster' across a gang plank as the ship gets ready to depart.  As the 'Leinster' leaves the Dublin docks there are panoramic shots across the Grand Canal Basin and Ringsend before heading out into the Irish sea.

'Discovery' was a documentary series broadcast on RTÉ between 1964 and 1967. The series which first aired on 14 January 1964, touched on many aspects of Irish life with an occasional spotlight on events of particular interest. 

This episode of 'Discovery' was broadcast on 9 May 1966.