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IRC stands for "Internet Relay Chat". It was originally written by Jarkko Oikarinen in 1988. Since starting in Finland, it has been used in over 60 countries around the world. IRC is a multi-user chat system, where people meet on "channels" (rooms, virtual places, usually with a certain topic of conversation) to talk in groups, or privately. There is no restriction to the number of people that can participate in a given discussion, or the number of channels that can be formed on IRC.
From »www.mirc.com/faq.html#section1 -
mIRC is a shareware IRC Chat client for Windows. It is developed and copyrighted by Khaled Mardam-Bey. The various parts of the program have been designed with the aim of simplifying and speeding up your IRC sessions. mIRC is made to be very configurable... there are a lot of simple switches you can use to personalize mIRC to your needs. And unlike a lot of other IRC programs mIRC still gets more and more mature every new version. You can define your own commands and implement your personal reactions to commands others give to your client.