As a lot of people i've always a irc client running in a screen session on one of my machines and i attach/detach that screen session from my laptop through ssh. I know that almost everybody in the same situation use irssi for that but due to professional reasons (at least until i got a new job ;-) ) i have to be able to reach also Lotus Sametime so finch (console part of the pidgin/purple project) was the only one to be able to reach both IRC and Sametime (through the meanwhile plugin).

But even when connected and attached to my screen session it's not possible to be notified if someone pings me. The idea was so to just parse the finch log files (by default in  \~/.purple/logs/irc/*) and use notify-send (part of the libnotify package)

Of course it's still needs some 'love' but it does what i want now :

ssh yourname@your.remote.server "tail -n 1 -q -f \~/.purple/logs/irc/youraccount\*/*.txt|grep -i --line-buffered yournickname"|while read line;do notify-send  -i /usr/share/pixmaps/IRC.png -u normal -t 20000 -- "IRC message" "\${line}";done
Now i've a nice pop-up when someone tries to `ping` me or uses my nickname :D

I don't know if someone else had the same need but at least that can give some ideas ...