Ireland captain, Rory Best, marked his final Six Nations game at the Aviva Stadium by overseeing the men in green to a bonus point win.
The Ulsterman scored a try after just two minutes to set the tone.
Jonathan Sexton, Jack Conan and Keith Earls also crossed - Sexton adding three conversions, but France rallied late in the game to take the gloss of the Irish victory in a game they had dominated.
Best said. "I think we had chances with a series of scrums on their line but we just let ourselves down a little bit.
"But the way we controlled the game we will be happy. We had chances in the first half and maybe we could have put some away but you cannot underestimate how physical that French side are.
"We weren't expecting to get as many line-outs as we did and a few things came off and a few didn't. We know going to Cardiff next week we will have to be a lot better and the exciting thing is how we get our teeth into that.
"To go to Murrayfield and play like that shows where Wales are at the minute and Cardiff is a tough place to go, so we'll dust ourselves down and prepare well."
On his final Six Nations game: "It's a great place to finish of my Six Nations career. There aren't many better places to play in world rugby and it will be a fantastic occasion to sign off."
Best will return to the Aviva Stadium on March 30 when he leads Ulster out against Leinster in the European Champions Cup quarter-final tie.