But they must have clicked, because they are now married and their little boy, Daniel, has just celebrated his first birthday.
Noreen, from Kilmurry, will celebrate ten years working for Ford in Cork city in April.
She was working in the distribution department and Michael, from Wilton, was working in customer services.
Their first date involved attending a spinning class together — a keep-fit form of indoor cycling.
“It was quite funny because at the time, spinning was quite new,” recalls Noreen. “I was living near The Lough with a few friends at the time. I remember saying to them, ‘Yeah, I’m going to spinning with this guy from work’ and they obviously knew I liked him but I wasn’t giving anything away.
“They were like, ‘You kinda sound like you like him but if you like him, why are you going to a spinning class with him?’ When I had this conversation with them, he was literally out in the drive, waiting in the car!”
However, it turned out to be the perfect way to get to know each other and Noreen adds: “After the class we went to McDonald’s because we were starving and to balance the equation! And then we went for a spin in his Ford Capri.”
It was an apt vehicle, since Ford had brought them together in the first place.
Noreen and Michael, who wed in 2014, now work in different divisions at Ford — she works in the customer service department and Michael is the Fleet Manager.
Michael’s father, Stephen Ring also worked in the motor industry, at a garage at Dennehy’s Cross in Cork city.
Noreen says it’s nice to work with her husband, although they do try to keep some distance between them in the office.
“When we started going out we always tried to keep our distance. We were lucky that we were always in different departments,” she says.
“While it’s a small company, we all work very close with each other.
“Michael and I try and keep away from each other at work and try not to talk about work too much at home!”
Michael has a motoring hobby too. “He loves doing up vintage cars,” says Noreen. “He has a Capri, he has an Escort. He’s really into his Fords, especially vintage ones.
“He was actually the chairman of the Capri Club of Ireland a number of years ago and I got roped in too, he managed to wriggle me into it somehow! That was about five or six years ago and we would have gone around to a lot of vintage shows. We still would go to vintage shows but more locally, to be honest, with the small man!”
Noreen says her husband is currently working on renovating an old Ford Transit van, which the family hope to use for holidaying together.
“It’s a bus, but when I say a bus it’s a five seater! We’re hoping to get it up and running for the summer to go on loads of family trips, hopefully camping. We’re just going to call it the Transit fun bus! It looks fab.”