ENNISKILLEN, NORTHERN IRELAND, NOV. 10 -- As Methodist minister Thomas MaGowan recited the final prayer over the grave of student nurse Marie Wilson today, the hundreds of mourners gathered at the cemetery suddenly heard the distant chords of a funeral march in the center of town.

The Royal Ulster Constabulary band had begun the procession for one of its own, policeman Edward Armstrong, who died with Wilson and nine others in Sunday's bombing of a community center by the Irish Republican Army. Sixty-three persons were wounded in the blast.

This rural town buried three of the dead today, as Northern Ireland debated whether the unusually brutal attack might finally turn people away from employing terrorist violence.

{Police said they discovered a second bomb Tuesday near the site of the explosion, The Associated Press reported. The bomb, apparently set to go off Sunday, was safely disarmed.}

All of the funeral processions passed by the war memorial statue in a small town square next to the rubble of the building where the bomb exploded. It detonated while spectators were gathered for a laying of wreaths of poppies to mark the British equivalent of Veterans' Day.

All of the town's shops, except the florist, closed in sympathy for the dead, and most streets were deserted except for small, hushed groups of people on their way to the funerals.

"It hits hard at a town like ours, where everyone is known to everyone," Thomas Power, 52, said.

Like other mourners, Power went out of his way to tell a reporter that Roman Catholics as well as Protestants had turned out to pay their respects. The IRA is fighting to end British rule in predominantly Protestant Northern Ireland, and to unite the British-ruled province with the mostly Roman Catholic Republic of Ireland to the south.

"All the clergy were there, right across the spectrum," MaGowan said of Wilson's funeral.

Nevertheless, the bitter sectarianism that has caused more than 2,600 deaths in 18 years in the province was evident at a meeting of the local district council.

All of the Protestant representatives boycotted the session, equivalent to an American county council meeting.

They did so largely to embarrass the council's chairman, Paul Corrigan. He belongs to Sinn Fein, the legal political wing of the outlawed IRA, and he is the only Sinn Fein council chairman in Northern Ireland.

Corrigan, badgered by reporters after the meeting, delivered a prepared statement reiterating the IRA's position that it regretted the bombing's "catastrophic" effects.

The IRA has admitted planting the bomb while denying that it detonated it. The Army and police have categorically rejected the IRA's hypothesis that the explosion was trigged by an Army electronic scanning device, and media reports quoted military experts as saying that the odds against it were "a million to one."

The IRA's position clearly represented an attempt to avoid some of the responsibility for violating its own unwritten rules against striking civilians. Armstrong was the only active member of the security forces to be killed in the blast.

Church of Ireland Bishop Brian Hannon, speaking at the funeral of Samuel Gault, a 49-year-old retired policeman, said he was convinced that the bombing could be "a turning point" in the province's history.

"This could be the crossroads in our years of communal strife to which historians will look back and say, that was the catalyst, that was the week when a broad cross section of the Christian community made the conscious decision to reject utterly the bomb and the bullet as a solution to any of our problems," Hannon said.

Denzil McDaniel, editor of the local newspaper Impartial Reporter, was pessimistic.

"The bombing will have a temporary effect on Sinn Fein's support. But it is sad to say that there is no election for another two years, and by then the massacre will be just another statistic," McDaniel said.

"There is a danger that the British Army could get tougher in this area, and that will push people back into the arms of Sinn Fein," he said.