Many shared hosting enviroments block ping (ctcp) requests to the main host or IP, so this is nothing uncommon. I can dns the host and traceroute the IP ok. The RDNS doesnt work but again that wont stop you connecting. "cannot resolve host" is usually a dns issue in itself and possibly at your end. So with that in mind try connecting to the IP itself /server 188.8.131.52
If that works try googling opendns and add it to your network config or router
P.S I have connected to irc.torncity.com and that IP with no problems the ping report is
[kevin@hoste ~]$ ping -c10 184.108.40.206
PING 220.127.116.11 (18.104.22.168) 56(84) bytes of data.
--- 22.214.171.124 ping statistics ---
10 packets transmitted, 0 received, 100% packet loss, time 9003ms
Oooops silly me forgot to address another issue. A connection refused is usually down to the IRCD isnt running or a firewall setting serverside refusing your connection requests, possibly email the admin?