Eh, us "1337 aye-are-cee perlmonkies" require "sys/socket.ph" and RFC 1459.
Joking aside, I would be hard pressed to see a situation where I'd use anything but PoCo::IRC for anything client side. As far as I know, Perl hasn't really been used significantly on the server side. Well, perhaps services count but that's kind of server side bot programming.
I don't care for their licensing bs but it's worth mentioning that xchat, a bloated GUI IRC client, is scriptable in Perl.
pircd is a functional but dated Perl irc server. This helped me a lot back in the day.
One good resource is the source. I found the documentation and header files in ircd ratbox quite useful when I was doing some more technical stuff on EFnet.
rfc.sunsite.dk doesn't work for me so here's the [rfc://nnnn] style links.
RFC 1459: Internet Relay Chat Protocol
RFC 2810: Internet Relay Chat: Architecture
RFC 2811: Internet Relay Chat: Channel Management
RFC 2812: Internet Relay Chat: Client Protocol
RFC 2813: Internet Relay Chat: Server Protocol
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