it does not realy need to be irc.
a normal webchat will be totally enough.
for the webserver you can use a cheap webhost.. no need for a own server....
im paying for my webspace ~12 pound a year and have 2gig space, unlimited traffic, 100 pop mailboxes, 100 mysql databases, subdomains,SSL, FTP, PHP, PHP-Upload, Perl, SSI, Wap, Spam filter ect..
and never had trouble with it...
i also got free support even over the weekend with free skype calls as well.
well dont want to make adverts here but if youre interested just drop me a pm.
p.s.: its a german provider of course