Three teenage boys aged 14, 16, and 17 have been killed in a car crash near Nenagh in Co Tipperary.

Two other teenagers, a young man and woman, were seriously injured.

Gardaí have named the three teenagers who died as 14-year-old Stuart Donnellan, 16-year-old Paraic Bourke and 17-year-old Adrian O'Brien.

All three teenagers were from the Nenagh area.

They were travelling in a car that left the road and hit a tree at Kilboy on the Nenagh to Dolla road at around 7.30pm last night.

Two of the young men died at the scene, while the third was brought to hospital where he later died.

A 15-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl are being treated for serious injuries at the Mid Western Regional Hospital in Limerick.

The road where the crash happened was closed overnight and this morning for a garda forensic examination. It has since reopened.

Garda Superintendent Robert Noonan said the emergency services who went to the crash were confronted with a terrible scene.

Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to the collision to come forward.

Deaths a terrible tragedy - Dempsey

Transport Minister Noel Dempsey described the deaths as a terrible tragedy.

He pointed out that the number of people killed on the country's roads last year was the lowest since records began.

He said this was down to a change in driver behaviour, as well as improved enforcement.

But Mr Dempsey appealed for all road users to continue the effort to reduce road deaths.