Many Irish people who came to the U.S. ended up in poor houses, almshouses and asylums. Some, for a short time, until they had the well being, contacts and resources to survive. For others, they stayed there until they died. One entry in the registers for Westchester County (the county just above Bronx county, New York City) has information about a Mary O’Connor/Gorman who was born in Paulstown.
If further outlines:
Name: Mary O’Connor or Gorman
Record Number: 3/1340
Date of Admission: 9 February 1880
Age: 60 / Single / Birthplace: Paulstown, Kilkenny, Ireland / How long in the US: 20 years / How long in the State: 20 years / At what port landed: N York / Birth Place of Father: Paulstown, Kilkenny, Ireland / Birthplace of Mother: Gordon (possibly the neighboring village of Gowran?), Kilkenny, Ireland / Education: None / Occupation of Father: Land Steward / Existing Cause of Dependence: Sickness and Destitution / What kind of labor is the person able to pursue, and to what extent: Light Housework / Has the person been an inmate of any other charitable institution: In Lunatic Asylum bd? 6 months.
A number of other questions are asked but answers are not provided.
 “New York Census of Inmates in Almshouse and Poorhouses 1830-1920”, database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 October 2011), entry for Mary O’Connor, 9 February 1880; citing: New York State Archives, Albany, New York; Census of Inmates in Almshouses and Poorhouses, 1875-1921; Series A1978, Reel A1978:88, Record Number: 3/1340