I'm new in both Linux and LIRC, and I searched this forum and couldn't find any thread indicating that /dev/lirc does not exist. I'm using Ubuntu 8.04 and used apt-get to install LIRC 0.8.3. when I want to use "irrecord RM-Y195" I receive following error: 
irrecord - application for recording IR-codes for usage with lirc 
Copyright (C) 1998,1999 Christoph Bartelmus(lirc@bartelmus.de
irrecord: could not get file information for /dev/lirc 
irrecord: default_init(): No such file or directory 
irrecord: could not init hardware (lircd running ? --> close it, check permissions) 
I checked and there is no /dev/lirc folder/file. however, I have /dev/lircd file. I changed the permission of lircd by chmod 666 /dev/lircd, as it says in the documents; I have also killed lircd process, still this error appears.

I used "fuser /dev/lirc" and received: 
Cannot stat /dev/lirc: No such file or directory 
Cannot stat /dev/lirc: No such file or directory 
I found a process is using /dev/lircd and I killed it. Still problem exists. 
I'm using an iguanaIR USB transceiver and using mode2 I can see signals.