All popular clients use GNU autoconf and GNU automake, thus come with a configure script. Read the installation instructions after you unpack the sources. Be sure you have the required libraries in order to build. Doing cd sources;mkdir objdir;cd objdir; ../configure --help;../configure your_options_here;make;make install (or make install_strip) > ~/sources_install.log is the right procedure. Also note that for ircII, EPIC, and BitchX you should really edit include/config.h to suit your needs.
Do you really need help to set up a server ?
~$ vim ircd.conf