Baseball Ireland has been approved as a new associate member of the Olympic Federation of Ireland ©WBSC

Baseball Ireland has been approved as a new associate member of the Olympic Federation of Ireland (OFI).

The decision was confirmed at the OFI Annual General Meeting in Dublin, at the Conference Centre on the Sport Ireland Campus.

It comes after the OFI moved into its new headquarters on the Campus yesterday.

Organised baseball has been played in Ireland since the late 1990s and Baseball Ireland was formed in the early 2000s.

It covers baseball across the island of Ireland with the country entering national teams into European competitions since 1996.

Ireland is already a member of the World Baseball Softball Confederation, with the two sports featuring at five Olympic Games in a row after debuting at Barcelona 1992.

Baseball and softball lost their place following Beijing 2008, but were restored for Tokyo 2020 before again not being selected for Paris 2024.

With the 2028 Olympics taking place in Los Angeles, there is a strong chance baseball and softball will be re-added due to the popularity of the sports in the United States.

Next year, Ireland will co-host the Women's Softball World Cup with Italy and Spain.

The new OFI headquarters accommodates offices for the OFI downstairs, and an athlete lounge for rest between training sessions upstairs.

Irish Sports Minister Thomas Byrne was on hand to open the new building, known as the Long Barn.

"We are very happy to move into our new offices on the Sport Ireland Campus and want to thank Sport Ireland and the Institute for their hospitality," said OFI chief executive Peter Sherrard. 

"This move into purpose-built facilities follows our decision to sell the Olympic House in Howth in 2021. 

"We look forward to being part of the Sport Ireland Campus and the many exciting opportunities it will provide for Irish sport as it continues to evolve."

It is hoped that an "Athletes' Village feel" can be achieved on the Campus.

"I am delighted to officially open the Long Barn," said Byrne. 

"This new multifunctional space provides space for both the Olympic Federation of Ireland and our athletes. 

"This is an important step in our preparations for Paris 2024 and shows our commitment to supporting Ireland's athletes on their journey to the Olympic Games."