Bad news for Ireland was the departure first of Cian Healy in the second half and then Felix Jones who was carted off, looking distressed after picking up a foot injury.
Jonny Sexton kicked them into an early lead with a penalty before Cian Healy burst through Morgan Para's attempted tackle to score in the corner.
However then the French burst into life. Para kicked a penalty, Trinh-Duc landed a massive drop-goal and then Cedric Heymans scored a great try with Para converting.
The French went further ahead at the start of the second half when Para kicked a penalty and then Trinh-Duc picked off an attempted pass from Tomas O'Leary to score a crucial try.
The French looked more than comfortable in their skins and the late tries they conceded came at a stage when the outcome had already been decided.