And given his chance with Ronan O'Gara rested after his Heineken Cup exertions, Keatley produced an impressive display orchestrating the Munster backline.
Full-back Sean Scanlon and Tomas O'Leary both crossed in five first-half minutes to give the home side a comfortable 18-3 lead at half-time.
Niall O'Connor managed three penalties for the visitors but missed the same number as Connacht missed out on the chance of a losing bonus point.
And two more second-half penalties from Keatley were enough to keep the visitors at a distance.
Keatley put two early penalty misses behind him as he slotted penalties on 17 and 24 minutes to give Munster a 6-0 lead.
O'Connor halved the deficit with a penalty of his own just before the half hour but that was as close as it got for the Galway outfit.
Scanlon, on his RaboDirect PRO12 debut at full-back, grabbed the game's opening try two minutes later, with Keatley converting to make it 13-3.
And five minutes later O'Leary stretched the lead further as he went over, Keatley's missed conversion emulated by O'Connor with a penalty attempt two minutes later.
The visitors made the brighter start to the second half but O'Connor and Keatley traded two penalties apiece to make it 24-9 just before the hour.
John Hayes, on his 217th and final appearance for Munster, departed on 59 minutes to a standing ovation to be replaced by BJ Botha.
Shortly after Donncha O'Callaghan paid the price for repeated Munster infringements as he was sent to the bin, but it made little difference to the home side as Connacht were kept scoreless while they had an extra man.
Munster will be disappointed with their inability to cross the tryline in the second half, missing the opportunity to draw level on points with the Ospreys as they claimed four points which was enough to jump back into third ahead of Glasgow.
|Munster Rugby Score Card|
|Connacht Rugby Score Card|