Ireland scored six tries to two with hooker Shane Byrne and captain Brian O'Driscoll getting two apiece, the latter on his return from injury, to ruin thoughts that Wales were on the point of usurping them as the coming force in northern hemisphere rugby.
Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan was happy overall with the victory which was their fifth successive win against Wales an Irish record and their ninth in the last 11 meetings.
"It was a good performance for 60 minutes but sloppy for the last 20," he said.
"We had had to make some changes which unsettled us but overall I am very happy.
"If we'd lost it would have been a setback but we've got some momentum going to Twickenham (in two weeks).
"Hopefully we'll get another six tries against England!"
His Welsh counterpart Steve Hansen looked shattered by the defeat although he remained stoical in the light of the humbling.
"No point being black about it just got to cop the loss on the chin," said the former New Zealand police detective.
"There is no point sulking about it.
"We made too many mistakes with the ball. Got cleaned out in the lineouts, didn't make first time tackles and ran sideways instead of forwards so I guess we'll work on that for the next fortnight ahead of the French match in Cardiff on March 7," added Hansen, who is to rejoin his predecessor in the Welsh job and now All Blacks coach Graham Henry as his assistant when the tournament finishes.
IRELAND Tries: Byrne (1 mins), O Driscoll (14 mins), O'Gara (29 mins), Byrne (40 mins), Foley (46 mins), O Driscoll (52 mins) Cons: O'Gara (2 mins), O'Gara (15 mins), O Gara (53 mins)
WALES Tries: Shanklin (61 mins), Shanklin (74 mins) Pens: Jones (6 mins) Cons: Jones (75 mins)
1. R Corigan 2. S Byrne 3. J Hayes 4. D O Callaghan 5. P O Connell 6. S Easterby 7. K Gleason 8. A Foley 9. P Stringer 10. R O Gara 11. T Howe 12. B O Driscoll (capt) 13. G D Arcy 14. S Horgan 15. G Dempsey.
Replacements: 16. S Best 17. F Sheehan 18. M O Kelly 19. V Costello 20. G Easterby 21. D Humphreys 22. K Maggs.
1. I Thomas 2. R McBryde 3. A Jones 4. B Cockbain 5. R Sidoli 6. J Thomas 7. M Williams (Capt) 8. Dafydd Jones 9. G Cooper 10. S Jones 11. S Williams 12. I Harris 13. S Parker 14. R Williams 15. G Thomas.
Replacements: 16. M Davies 17. G Jenkins 18. M Owen 19. A Popham 20. D Peel 21. C Sweeney 22. T Shanklin.