A US-based journalist says planes heading for Ireland for the Christmas period are "packed".
The current advice from Government is to avoid all non-essential foreign travel.
However, Transport Minister Eamon Ryan said last week that people should make their own assessment on coming home for Christmas.
He said: "There could be a whole verity of different reasons as to why they would [come home].
"You could have a parent who's very lonely at home, or you could have not seen someone in a very long time".
"I think it's not up to Government to make those calls, I think its right for the people - each individual person - to make the calls".
But Niall O'Dowd told Pat Kenny he believes people are not listening.
"I believe the planes are packed - I think it's an irresistible move for people, going back generations obviously, that the trip home to Ireland at Christmas is very much one that people love to look forward to and undertake.
"I don't think COVID is going to stop people going, I think on this occasion people probably figure that they want to see family very badly.
"Our information is that the planes are pretty full".
Mr O'Dowd said "the overwhelming number" of people bound for Ireland are Irish-born, rather than Irish-Americans.
"No, the message hasn't got across - the message that we're hearing is that people are travelling in large numbers."
He said that number has increased in the last couple of weeks
"It does appear definitely that there will be a lot of people departing America to come home to Ireland for Christmas".
The daa says passenger numbers at Dublin Airport for the Christmas season are expected to be down by 88% compared to the same period last year.
An estimated 137,000 people are due to travel through Dublin this Christmas, compared to almost 1.2 million people in 2019.
About 127,000 of those passengers are travelling to and from Ireland during the Christmas period - while about 10,000 people are connecting passengers who pass through Dublin Airport.
Between December 21st and January 4th, there is expected to be an average of 8,615 departing and arriving passengers per day.
This compares to an average of 83,508 passengers per day over the Christmas season last year.