A group of asylum seeker parents have said they fear the Department of Justice has reneged on a promise to provide a bus service to enable their children to continue attending their primary school.

The families used to live at a Direct Provision centre in Dublin city centre.

However, in July they were moved to another centre, which is 12km away on the outskirts of the city.

The families say that prior to the move, when they sought reassurances that their children could continue to attend the same primary school, they were promised that a dedicated bus service would be provided to facilitate this.

However, the school - Scoil Chaitriona on Baggot Street - reopens tomorrow and no dedicated bus service has been provided.

The families live at the Balseskin Reception Centre, which is situated on the northside of Dublin, beyond Finglas.

They were moved there, unwillingly, when another centre at Hatch St in Dublin's south inner city closed down.

The timetable of a private bus service for residents at the Balseskin facility, which travels to and from the city centre, has been revised slightly but the parents say this not a solution.

A bus that used to leave Balseskin Reception Centre at 8.20am every weekday morning and travel to Mount Street will now leave the centre at 8am. 

The children's school is a ten minute walk from Mount Street. 

However, the bus service returns only from Mountjoy Square, which is on the other side of the city, a 40 minute walk from the school for an adult walking.

The parents say they are determined to keep their children in their old school. 

After the move to Balseskin they said they want to minimise the disruption in their lives.

Some of the parents say they are afraid to speak out publicly because as asylum seekers they feel too vulnerable.

But one mother agreed to allow her name to be used. Mavis says she too fears speaking out. 

"You know that you are saying the truth but you feel that you have to be submissive", she says. 

"But this issue is too important" she added.

"How do you expect the children on a rainy day to walk from Baggot St to Mountjoy Square?" Mavis said.

"Leaving Hatch Hall was very traumatising. The only thing that the kids can hold on to is their school."

The families say the current arrangements are impossible for their children.

"It is a long journey and it will be exhausting for them. They will need to take two buses", another parent said.

"If they finish school at 2.30pm they will not reach home until at least 4.30pm".

Two of the children are aged four and one is three-years-old and is beginning a pre-school year offered by the school.  

Parents say the older children do not want to move to schools nearer to Balseskin.

"I asked them what do you think about changing school", said one parent.

"Directly they say 'no, because we love our teachers and we love our friends there'. All of them they say 'no we want the same school'".

Parents are upset and stressed by the situation and say they are attached to the Baggot Street school.

A Department of Justice spokesperson said the provision of school bus transport was a matter for the Department of Education.

Asked about the families' assertion that a promise had been made to provide a bus service for the children, the spokesperson said he did not have any information in relation to this at this stage.

The Department of Education said that a request for transport has been received for "a number of children in Balseskin Direct Provision centre who were moved there with the families when the Hatch Hall centre closed".

It said the request is "currently being examined".  

A department spokesperson did not have details as to who had made the request.

"They (the authorities) knew from day one, before we were moved to Balseskin, that we would need this bus", Mavis said.

"They agreed to support us with a dedicated school bus, only for children. So why are they saying now that they are 'considering the request'? They know that the children are starting on Thursday."