Then I decided what I wanted to do. I am going to attempt to make an IRC client
It won't be much fun, especially if you use C/C++.
I decided that I want to learn the programming language that made mIRC what it is today!
No you don't.
If it's your first real programming language, pick something that at least does memory management and has decent IDE support, otherwise you will be shooting yourself in the foot within minutes. C isn't a good starter language, C++ is even worse.
C/C++ are also not languages meant for "fun". These days they're really only used for low-level systems programming or highly optimized code-- you need neither. If you want to have fun, choose a higher level language like Python, Ruby, Java or C#.