I still get a flurry of errors every time I try to connect, e.g. (from this morning):

[07:00] ERROR: Socket Exception Error: No connection could be made because the target machine actively refused it
[07:00] -irc.starchat.net- Waiting 20 seconds to re-connect to irc.starchat.net on port 6667

This can repeat for a couple of minutes (re-trying every 20 seconds) and then usually IceChat9 finally gets past this and signs me in.

The IRC software might have updated so it runs happily into the future, but irc.starchat.net is an unknown quantity, no idea how it works.

If /server works for you, maybe you should just add that as a new server and make it your default connection.