His arrest is related to claims that he used a false invoice to claim mobile phone expenses while a member of the Dáil.
Mr O’Keeffe was arrested at his home in Ballylough, Mitchelstown, Co Cork, shortly after 10.30am yesterday morning by members of the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation.
Officers searched his home and brought him to Cobh Garda Station where he is being detained under section 4 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act. He can be detained for 24 hours.
The solicitor understood to be representing Mr O’Keeffe could not be reached for comment last night. A person who answered the phone of his son, Cllr Kevin O’Keeffe, said the family were making “no comment at all”.
Questions surrounding Mr O’Keeffe’s mobile phone expenses were first raised by the Irish Mail on Sunday in Oct 2010. He insisted at the time he had done absolutely nothing wrong.
Mr O’Keeffe served as a Fianna Fáil TD for almost 30 years before standing down at last year’s general election.
The highlight of his long political career was being appointed a junior minister with special responsibility for food at the Department of Agriculture in 1997.
Meanwhile, another former Fianna Fáil junior minister and TD, Ivor Callely, was fined €150 yesterday at Dublin District Court for driving a car with no NCT disc.
Mr Callely, who resigned from the Seanad after he was at the centre of a controversy surrounding his expenses, had received a summons for a road traffic offence of using a car without displaying a valid NCT disc at Springdale Road, Raheny, in north Dublin, on July 7 last year.
Earlier this year, Mr Callely was also arrested in relation to allegations of using false receipts to claim mobile phone expenses. He was later released after questioning and insisted he was “completely and totally innocent of any wrongdoing”.