The so called Group of the “Tapas 7” are the adults in the group of holidaymakers with which the McCann's went to Praia da Luz in spring 2007.
Sometimes they thus are also called the “Tapas 9” if the McCann's are included.
The name stems from the fact, that the group came together at evening time at the Tapas Bar . The Tapas Bar is part of the Ocean Club Resort and was 50 meters away from the veranda of the Apartment 5A.
→The Group consisted of:
More details at →McCannFiles
Dailymail →Article (08 September 2007):
“They are the key witnesses to Madeleine's disappearance - the friends of Kate and Gerry McCann who could help unlock the mystery of what happened that fateful night. But despite their knowledge they have strangely said virtually nothing in four months. As the McCanns embarked on a global publicity campaign to find their daughter, the group of friends closest to the couple - and who were dining with them on May 3 when Madeleine vanished - were reluctant to talk…The Mail on Sunday asked one of the McCanns' friends, Dr Fiona Payne, for an interview. Initially she strongly indicated that she was prepared to talk to this newspaper but changed her mind when the McCanns inexplicably advised her against it….”
Daily Mail →Article (11 April 2008)
'Tapas Seven demanded private jet and 5-star hotels to return to Portugal for Maddie reconstruction,' Portuguese police claim.
A planned reconstruction of the night Madeleine McCann vanished has been hampered by extravagant demands by the McCanns' friends, police are said to have claimed yesterday. Portuguese officers have asked Kate and Gerry McCann and the so-called Tapas Seven to return to the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz for a re-enactment of the events of May 3 last year. The couple are considering the request, but police allegedly said their friends demanded private jet travel and five-star hotel accommodation.
A source is said to have told the Portuguese tabloid newspaper 24 Horas: 'The demands they make to return are impossible to entertain. One of the couples demanded a private jet to travel with their children to the Algarve. Another demanded they be put up in a five-star hotel. The demands they all made demonstrate a clear strategy by lawyers. The only thing missing from the list was a request that we send them to the Moon on skates.' The McCanns, their seven friends, their spokesman Clarence Mitchell, his predecessor and two other holiday friends were all asked to return for the reconstruction, the newspaper reported. The Tapas Seven are university friends Matthew Oldfield, Russell O'Brien, David and Fiona Payne, plus Mr Oldfield's wife Rachael, Mr O'Brien's partner Jane Tanner and Mrs Payne's mother Dianne Webster.
All have been re-interviewed by British police this week, at the request of their Portuguese counterparts, about their accounts of the night of May 3. Portuguese police were said to be suspicious about a series of alleged contradictions and inconsistencies in their witness statements. Senior police chief Guilhermino Encarnacao confirmed that some of the witnesses, who also included a man who played tennis against Mr McCann and TV producer Jeremy Wilkins, who saw Mr McCann on the might of May 3, had imposed certain conditions on their return to Portugal. But he told 24 Horas: 'The reconstruction is important but it's not crucial to the investigations.'
BBC News →Article (16 October 2008):
“…The seven friends who dined with Kate and Gerry McCann on the night of Madeleine's disappearance were central witnesses in the case. Their evidence was pored over by the police, and their backgrounds closely scrutinised by journalists and bloggers alike. None of the seven were ever a formal suspect or “arguido”, and all co-operated willingly and voluntarily with the investigation. Bound by judicial secrecy laws while the case was still being investigated by Portuguese police, most made no public comment about what they saw. They have now received a £375,000 libel payout from Express Newspapers after untrue allegations about their conduct appeared in three publications. Their friendship goes back a long way. Four of the group - Matthew Oldfield, Russell O'Brien, David Payne and Fiona Payne - studied medicine together at Leicester University in the early 1990s - the Paynes becoming a couple.”