Ireland went into the game on the back of nine successive defeats at Murrayfield but they responded in glorious style with their biggest-ever win over the Scots.
Scotland lock Stuart Grimes was denied a try by the video referee in the first minute - and the Irish never looked back.
The influential Brian O'Driscoll caused panic in the Scotland ranks with every touch of the ball, and it was from one of his sidestepping forays that Denis Hickie pounced for the only try of the first half on 28 minutes.
David Humphreys supplemented the Irish first-half total with a couple of well-struck penalty goals, and a third six minutes into the second half extended their advantage.
The Scots had to be satisfied with a couple of Gordon Ross penalties which briefly gave them renewed hope.
Humphreys added another penalty to make it 19-6 and the game was put beyond the home side when winger Geordan Murphy produced a brilliant solo effort.
Murphy, a first-half replacement for the injured Shane Horgan, defused a strong Scottish raid by pouncing on a loose ball from the base of a ruck and twice hacked the ball forward on a 60-metre sprint to the line.
Humphreys then supported a break by Hickie to grab a third try - only his third in 48 appearances - and kicked his third conversion before wrapping up the scoring with fifth penalty, his eighth success from nine kicks at goal.