A lot of people in GNOME use a dedicated IRC application called XChat, but that Empathy lets you connect to IRC too! So I can show you how to do that in a few minutes ;D
Empathy is an application that GNOME 3.2 has by default:
1. Click on the button + to Add your account on IRC.
2. Click on Protocol and choose IRC.
You can set your nickname, it is not necessarily enter a password.
3. Click on Network and choose irc.gnome.org. If you can not see it, click on Add.
4. Go to te Server block and click Add, by default the port 6667 is activate, if you have troubles ask to the administrator because some institutes and universities avoid it.
5. Click Close.
* Then, you can click on Network and you can see irc.gnome.org in the list.
*Click on Select and set your user, in my case I will be yulys 🙂
* Go to Empathy and click on the menu
Room > Join room
* You can put #gnome-women, #docs, #gnome-love or the channel you prefer.