Considering the recent issues with Freenode have gotten worse, I don't think it's a good idea to keep it as an official channel for help. We have a few options:
1. Moving to a different IRC network, such as libera.chat.
2. Switching to a different chat protocol/program (e.g. Matrix/Discord/Gitter).
3. Just dropping IRC without replacement.
Personally, I'm leaning to option 3. We haven't gotten that much traffic on IRC the last couple years, and if people want help, I think it's OK for them to post on a forum/email list instead of using chat.
I'd appreciate community feedback before making a decision, but I don't want to wait too long. I'd like to make a decision within the next few days.