A 14-year-old boy has died and another was critically injured in a single-vehicle road crash in Co Kerry in the early hours of the morning.

Thomas Healy, from the Gap of Dunloe, Beaufort in Kerry, was driving the car and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The second teenager, also 14, was taken to University Hospital Kerry.

The crash happened at around 1.10am on the Ross Road, close to Ross Castle, a well-known tourist attraction in Killarney.

The road has been closed for a technical examination and diversions are in place.

A garda spokesperson said the incident had been referred to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission as the "vehicle was subject to interaction with gardaí prior to the collision".

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The car involved was a Toyota Corolla and was extensively damaged in the crash.

The ownership of the car and how Thomas acquired it will be a key element of the garda investigation.

Gardaí are appealing for anyone with information to contact Killarney Garda Station on 064 6671160 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.

Chairperson of Beaufort GAA in Killarney Neil Doherty said the community is "shocked" by Thomas's death.

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, Mr Doherty said "it is still sinking in" for those who knew the teenager and his family.

Mr Doherty said he played at underage level for the club.

"For a rural area like Beaufort this is a major shock" he said, adding that this was the fourth death of a member of the club since Christmas.

"I think people complain about small things, we all had the habit of doing. But something like this is a tragedy and shows you how quickly life can end.

"A person going out for a night, and just a few hours afterwards they are dead or badly injured. It makes you think, and puts life in perspective," he said.

Cathaoirleach of Killarney Municipal District Cllr Marie Moloney said people in the town are deeply shocked over the incident and expressed her condolences to the family of the boy.

Ms Moloney also expressed her sympathies to the family of a man in his 30s, who died following a crash at Listry Bridge last night.

James O'Connor, from Killorglin, who was seriously injured in a collision between his motorbike and a car on the road between Killarney and Milltown, later died in hospital.

It is understood the driver of the car was not injured.

Additional reporting Jennie O'Sullivan