FROM LDS - Ireland Research Guide:
In 1838, the Poor Law Act divided Ireland into 159 districts called poor law unions. A workhouse was established in each union to house the poor. Each union elected a board of guardians to administer poor law relief.
Records of the poor in Ireland are found in board of guardian minutes, in workhouse registers, and in the British Parliamentary Papers (unpublished). Information found in board of guardian minutes and workhouse registers may include names, dates of admission, places of birth or residence, ages, occupations, information about parents, testimony about conditions in the workhouse, and reports of disciplinary actions. Many of the minutes and registers are deposited in county libraries and national archives in Ireland.
The repositories of poor law records in Ireland are identified in chapter six of the following book:
Nolan, William. Tracing the Past: Sources for Local Studies in the Republic of Ireland. Dublin: Geography Publications, 1982. (FHL book Ref 941.5 A3nw; computer number 0177547.)
Irish poor law records available at the Family History Library are listed in the Locality Search of the catalog under the following headings:
IRELAND - POORHOUSES, POOR LAW, ETC.
IRELAND, [COUNTY] - POORHOUSES, POOR LAW, ETC.