Former captain Colin Charvis returns to the starting line-up, as does hooker Jonathan Humphreys, who replaced Charvis as skipper against England last month and has now recovered from a shoulder injury.
Humphreys missed the 30-22 defeat in Scotland 11 days ago, but he reclaims leadership duties from Cardiff flanker Martyn Williams.
Charvis, capped 53 times, will play at blindside flanker, with Llanelli's Dafydd Jones moving to number eight and Bath forward Gavin Thomas dropping out.
Humphreys takes over from Bridgend's Gareth Williams, while another front-row alteration sees Pontypridd prop Gethin Jenkins preferred to Swansea tighthead Ben Evans.
Evans is axed from the match-day 22 completely, with Llanelli's Martyn Madden providing prop cover on the bench.
In the second row, 73 times-capped Neath lock Gareth Llewellyn makes his first start of the current RBS 6 Nations campaign, replacing Steve Williams.
Behind the scrum, full-back Kevin Morgan's serious knee injury means that Rhys Williams moves from right wing to fill the vacancy, and Mark Jones is recalled after missing Wales' defeats against England and Scotland.
Llanelli wing Jones was concussed during the opening championship loss in Italy last month.
Wales, who have not defeated Ireland on home soil for 20 years, are facing their first championship whitewash since 1995 unless they beat either the Irish - or France in Paris - on Saturday week.
Wales team to play Ireland in the RBS 6 Nations Championship at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.
R Williams (Cardiff); M Jones (Llanelli), M Taylor (Swansea), T Shanklin (Saracens), G Thomas (Bridgend), S Jones (Llanelli), G Cooper (Bath); I Thomas (Llanelli), J Humphreys (Bath, capt), G Jenkins (Pontypridd), R Sidoli (Pontypridd), G Llewellyn (Neath), C Charvis (Swansea), M Williams (Cardiff), D Jones (Llanelli).
Replacements: M Davies (Pontypridd), M Madden (Llanelli), S Williams (Northampton), G Thomas (Bath), D Peel (Llanelli), I Harris (Cardiff), M Watkins (Llanelli).