First of all, Welcome to the forum
Well, I haven't ever used Pirch in my whole life hehe, but when I saw your post I decided to give it a try. I downloaded it and ran it, and it ran smoothly without any hangs. You can maybe goto your Pirch folder (where you installed Pirch) and make a backup copy of the file 'Pirch98.ini' and then delete the original file and after that, try to run Pirch. That would fix it, I guess.
And also, which version of Pirch are you using? I downloaded the 1.0.1190 version from here: http://www.pirch.com/software.html
and it ran perfectly (its faster than mIRC
Why do you want to use Pirch? Its outdated (I saw it is for Win 95/NT). Try using mIRC - www.mirc.com/
or Xchat - www.xchat.org/
or IceChat - www.icechat.net/
Just reply, if you need more help on this