On a hot afternoon in Southern France, where a water break was needed after just 24 minutes, the home team showed their quality in a dominant second-half display.
Inside the opening 10 minutes, Les Bleus flew into the lead when Naolia Traore zipped in, round goalkeeper Katie Keane and slotted the ball into the back of the net.
Shelbourne stopper Keane had to be replaced soon after following a collision and Niamh Richardson had to be at full alert for the remainder of the first half to keep France out.
Ireland fought their way back into the game on 37 minutes when Aoife Turner's cross-come-shot from the right side dipped over goalkeeper Alyssa Fernandes to make it 1-1.
However, France shifted up to another gear in the second half with striker Liana Joseph and captain Maeline Bendy both scoring twice before substitute Kadidia Traore finished it off in added time.
While this was a tough defeat it should not take away from the excellent campaign that James Scott's team produced. Ultimately, they came up against one of the best teams in Europe, who will now go on to the finals tournament in Estonia in May.
France: Alyssa Fernandes; Valériane Policnik (Celeste Delcroix 65), Lou Autin, Wassa Sangare, Naolia Traore, Liana Joseph (Elisa Rambaud 81), Maeline Mendy, Chancelle Effa Effa (Kadidia Traore 57), Taeryne Job (Celia Delaby 81), Melina Mendy (Nermyne Ben Khaled 57), Clara Bertrand.
Ireland: Katie Keane (Niamh Richardson 15); Aoife Turner, Aoibhe Fleming, Aoife Kelly, Kiera Sena; Jess Fitzgerald (Heidi Mackin 50), Ellen Dolan; Ruby Gallagher (Rebecca Devereux 71), Freya Healy (Hannah Healy 71), Jodie Loughrey; Joy Ralph.
Referee: Deborah Anex (Switzerland).
2023 UEFA Women’s Under-17 Championship – Round 2 Qualifiers
March 23 | Ireland 3-0 Kosovo
March 26 | Ireland 1-0 Italy
March 29 | France 6-1 Ireland